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Six months into the pandemic, and we’re still not able to travel as much as we’d all like. For aviation lovers, these six months have certainly felt like an eternity. But there are some ways we can tap into our love of flying without buying a plane ticket, from the latest edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator for those who want to get into the cockpit or the upcoming game Airplane Mode for those more interested in being a passenger.
But for those who are captivated by aviation history, the book “Airline Visual Identity: 1945-1975” by Matthias C. Hühne (Callisto Publishers, $70) might be the best option. It provides in-depth case studies on the visual languages developed by 13 major airlines—Pan Am and TWA among them, naturally—from livery to advertisements to cabin interiors. In essence, it’s a nostalgia-inducing journey around the world through retro poster design, not to mention an ode to the brilliant minds behind airlines’ corporate branding. (And it makes for a perfect holiday gift, nudge nudge.)
“The epic endeavor to make travel by air attractive and available to as many people as possible continues to impart respect and fascination today,” writes Hühne in the introduction.
Now, if you’re really looking to impress the aviation lover in your life, consider upgrading to the Premium Edition of the book, which retails for $650, or perhaps even the Collector’s Limited Edition, which comes in a case designed to mimic the metal used to build jets in the 1960s, for a cool $1,100.
Curious as to how a book could cost that much? Per Callisto Publishers’ website, “To reproduce all original works of art as precisely as possible, a total of seventeen different colors, five different types of varnishes, and two different methods of foil printing and embossing were used. The result is a book of exceptional vivacity that pushes the limits of modern printing technology.”
So the book might be a little niche, but it’s an absolutely gorgeous tome with some pretty incredible examples of mid-century graphic design—just take a look through some of its images below.