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Airline visual identity will make you think airlines are sexy

Rare the person these days who thinks of airlines as sexy. Of course, Virgin has brought back a bit of cool, and some of the Middle Eastern and East Asian airlines can be luxurious. But airlines are generally more utilitarian now.

This hasn’t always been the case, and that’s why the latest pick in our series on Beautiful Travel Coffee Table Books (Just Booked) is the update. Visual identity of the airline: 1945-1975 by MC Huhne. Published by Callisto, the giant book is a spectacular collection of how airlines represented themselves during that glamorous 30-year period when flying, as Huhne writes, was “an extraordinary experience”.

Flip through page after page of posters, advertisements, logos and tickets from major airlines from this period (think PanAm, TWA, United, SWISS, etc.). There are unforgettable works of art, like the abstract work David Klein did for TWA as well as the truly stunning 1964 SWISS Air posters. Plus, the concise text that accompanies it gives a crisp look at everything from the original American Airlines logo (created by a divisional traffic manager) to United Airlines’ impressive origin story.

It is a journey both for those who love airlines and their history and for all those who are fascinated by branding and corporate design.

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