Skift Take

Vintage airline tags blown up this size are a fascinating study in typography, iconic city branding and minimalistic modern design.

Even as the world moves towards self-tagging of airline bags using bar-coded, bland, boring automated silicon composite adhesive tags, there is a continued artistic fascination — especially of the vintage 50s era — with this ubiquitous ephemera of modern connected life.

Back when airline tags first started, they were influenced by the multi-color design of maritime and railroad travel tags before them, and with it came the variety of colorful designs, a study in typography and minimalistic city icons. London-based artist Neil Stevens recently came upon these vintage airline tags and decided to turn them into large wall prints.

As he describes it:

It was recently that I stumbled on a lovely set of old airline baggage tags and was amazed at the variety in designs produced since the 1950s. There was something about the now iconic, easily reconisable three letter abbreviations of the city destinations, and the small surrounding details that I thought would look great blown up and on a wall. They often avoided logos, had no advertising, and were purely just the information you needed.

So with these graphic and typographic gems I decided to go ahead and turn them into large format wall prints.

We loved these so much, we’ve ordered some for the new Skift offices!


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