Purchasing an authentic vintage travel poster today could cost you millions of dollars. Yet, before breaking auction records in museums or being hung on walls as decorations, these types of illustrations were being used to promote air travel; at a time when people were still skeptical about flying overseas in search of new adventures.
On June 28, 1939, Pan American kicked off international travel as we know it by inaugurating the world’s first transatlantic passenger service between New York, USA and Marseilles, France. And by 1952, British Overseas Airways Corporation had launched the first commercial jet from London to Johannesburg– making international travel more accessible than ever imagined. The dawn of the commercial jet era laid the foundation for destination branding. Pan American’s blue globe logo is still recognized today as a visual icon of the decades.
In the 1950’s, a time regarded as ‘The Golden Age of Travel’, passengers traveled in style; dressed in their ‘Sunday Best’, on flights embellished with all the luxuries of a five-star hotel. Flying was getting faster, more comfortable and more popular than ever.
This golden age of aviation set the stage for iconic images and striking advertorials. Companies began recruiting artists to create posters with dazzling, vibrant illustrations depicting curious foreign lands only reachable by air travel. Yet, we have only been recently able to appreciate their artistic value.
The posters made during this era are collected and sought after by travel enthusiasts as well established collectors around the world. And travel agencies responsible for sophisticated tourism movements have continued to use this illustration style when promoting destinations.
Based on this design approach and the framework shaped by Kocaeli’s value maps, we selected various destinations in Kocaeli to be portrayed in the posters. All of the chosen destinations were illustrated by Emrah Yücel in these unique vintage travel posters.
Various promotional materials featuring these illustrations are waiting to be picked up from Kocaeli’s stores.