E. McKnight Kauffer designed this great poster for American Airlines in 1948. Placing the US Capitol against a simple background conveys the power and importance of that building. The use of red, white and blue as the principle colors, plus the stars in the sky subtly reinforces the American theme. Kauffer worked for Pan Am and American Airlines after his return to America in 1940.
Thomas Cook is the venerable travel company that has been operating since 1851. The created the famous Cook’s timetable of European trains in 1873 and invented Cook’s Circular notes, later rebranded a s Traveller’s Cheques by American Express. This poster from the 1950’s promotes the fact that Cook’s handled air travel throughout the world.
Edward McKnight Kauffer was one of the great mid century artists who made his name on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Montana he moved to Europe where in the 20’s and 30’s he was a stalwart of Frank Pick’s legendary team working for London Transport and the London Underground. He returned to America in 1940 and began work with Pan-Am and American Airlines which continued until his death in 1954. Kauffer and David Klein are the most collectible of American poster artists. This poster from 1953 is one of the last he created.
In 1951, the airline industry was exploring new aircraft in the last days of propellor driven passenger travel. Pan-Am, always an innovator, started flying their Boeing B-337 Stratocruisers in the late 40’s. A double decked plane with sleeping berths and a lounge – the B-337 flew most of Pan-Am’s most famous routes. To celebrate the craft Pan-Am published a series of posters that highlighted destinations and the craft itself. This one is from 1951 and is for Glasgow, Scotland.
In the 1970’s, Delta Airlines promoted its domestic and international routes through a series of posters by Jack Laycox, a renowned California artist. This poster features Puerto Rico and the famous Fort San Felipe del Morro as it guards San Juan harbor. The Castillo is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.