A world away

Posters by David Klein for TWA in the 1960s available from Travel on Paper

There's something very appealing about these vintage travel posters. They're evocative of a time when getting on a plane meant glamour and the promise of adventure, rather than shoe removal and clear plastic bags at a crowded airport. 

These ones were designed and illustrated by the American David Klein, for the airline TWA in the 1950s and 60s, and have come to define the post-war era of jet set travel. They've also become highly collectable, which is not that surprising since they still have an alluring power today. 

One of his illustrations, a 1956 TWA poster for New York City showing an abstract image of Times Square, is in the permanent collection of the MoMA

David Klein's stunning 1956 poster is in the MoMA

How times and perceptions change. It would be pretty hard to imagine today's low cost airlines running aspirational ad campaigns like these. Klagenfurt: fly Ryan Air - anyone? 

But then, they've no need to, because technological advances mean we've already Street Viewed our destination from every angle before we even get there - and we know exactly what it looks like.