The Golden Age of Flight

The golden age of flight, considered to be 1918-1939, was an era of possibility, documented by pioneering graphics and poster art in advertising.

Cover image
Cover image

New book British Aviation Posters: Art, Design and Flight, designed by Heather Bowen, looks at the influence of futurism, modernism, art deco and surrealism on graphic posters which try to capture the spirit of air displays, travel and adventure.

Go There By Taxi, unknown designer, Imperial Airways 1930
Go There By Taxi, unknown designer, Imperial Airways 1930

It tells the story of Imperial Airways, BOAC, and BOA – all precursors to British Airways.

Comfort in The Air by Tom Purvis, Imperial Airways poster 1931
Comfort in The Air by Tom Purvis, Imperial Airways poster 1931

After some Biggles-esque aerial acrobatic posters and the influence of London Underground graphics and early Shell posters, comes Imperial Airways’ early poster design, and in 1932 the creation of the Speedbird – a graphic symbol and identity for the airline, which although markedly different, is still in the DNA of the British Airways identities.

Le Tourquet One Flying Hour by Theyre Lee-Elliot
Le Tourquet One Flying Hour by Theyre Lee-Elliot

With civil aviation taking a well advised sabbatical during the war years, BOAC and BEA marketed jet travel to a post-war audience, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing technological, social and cultural environment. 

Africa - Fly there by BOAC, unknown designer
Africa – Fly there by BOAC, unknown designer

The book features 151 colour and 30 black and white illustrations, most of them full page.

Australia - Fly there by BOAC and Qantas
Australia – Fly there by BOAC and Qantas

British Aviation Posters: Art, Design and Flight by Scott Anthony and Oliver is published by Lund Humphries in association with British Airways, priced £35.

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