Rare is the person these days who thinks of airlines as sexy. Sure, Virgin brought some cool back and some of the Middle Eastern and East Asian airlines can be luxurious. But the airlines are generally more utilitarian now.
That wasn’t always the case, and that’s why the latest selection for our series on gorgeous travel coffee table books (Just Booked) is the updated Airline Visual Identity: 1945-1975 by M.C. Huhne. Published by Callisto, the giant book is a spectacular collection of the ways in which airlines portrayed themselves in this glamorous 30 year period when flying, as Huhne writes, was “an extraordinary experience.”
Leaf through page after page of posters, advertisements, logos, and tickets from the major airlines of this period (think PanAm, TWA, United, SWISS, etc). There is unforgettable artwork, like the abstract work that David Klein did for TWA as well as genuinely stunning 1964 SWISS Air posters. Plus, the accompanying pithy text has neat insights into everything from the original American Airlines logo (created by a divisional traffic manager) to the impressive origin story of United Airlines.
It’s as much a trip for those who love airlines and their history as it is for anybody fascinated with branding and corporate design.