One of the most exciting aspects of travelling is thinking about it before you leave. But what inspires you to make that trip? For me it can be the advertising, but not the glossy “here is a video of the resort” type stuff. I find most appealing those adverts that just hint at something exotic or beautiful without really showing you what it is – your mind takes over and fills in the rest.
Some of the best examples of this is found in the poster art produced for the new airlines that appeared in the 1920s and 30s, a time when aircraft were just becoming large and safe enough to make commercial flights a real possibility. Some of these posters are gorgeous in the way they juxtapose a sleek craft against a desirable destination – a destination that can now be reached in a few hours rather than the days it would have taken by boat and train. For some excellent examples of what I mean have a look at the book “Art of the Airways” by Geza Szurovy.
Fast forward and NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have done a similar thing, but this time those desirable destinations are other planets discovered recently by the Kepler space telescope. This amazing machine detects planets by measuring the tiny variations in light given off by stars as planets track in front of them. NASA and JPL commissioned a team of artists to render travel posters for a number of these new world and the results are fantastic. Click here to see the posters in the context of the planets, and here to see what the creative team were thinking when they designed them. The one I find quite spooky in a way is PSO J318.5-22 – the planet with no star, a rogue, or free-floating planet.
It’s important that in the future people do make the trip to see new worlds or Orlando Jax would have nobody to steal from. The book opens with the attack on the pleasure cruiser the Eversence. The back story behind this is that the Eversence is a space cruise ship operated by Cerulean Space Lines, a company that has been trading since the days before faster than light speed, when all that was possible were visits to the planets within the solar system. Once the pride of the fleet was the Archangel, a ship that picked up passengers from the MBX space elevator for a direct run to the resort on Olympus Mons, Mars. This is my contribution to future travel poster art. For an A2 pdf version click here.