Travel Posters

Thanks to the development of chromolithography by French artist Jules Chéret in the 1880s, posters were not only easy and cost-effective to mass-produce, but they had become a respected art form in their own right.


Early travel posters were designed to appeal to the optimism and fantasy prevalent in France’s Belle Époque period (1880 – 1914), and so they embraced the ornate decorativeness of Art Nouveau. Travel posters were placed in public spaces such as town squares, hotels, or resorts, and in the windows of travel agencies, but you were most likely to find them in railway stations, airports, docks, and harbors.

Like many posters of the Belle Époque era, early travel posters were massively influenced by the ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the newly reopened Japan. These prints, known as “floating worlds”, often depicted the distinctive beauty of Japanese landscapes which made it a highly desirable location for Western tourists. The exclusivity of Japan as a destination - its self-imposed isolation had made the country a mystery to the world for over two hundred years - was also part of its appeal.


Although they vary in style depending on the period in which they were produced, travel posters tend to have several defining characteristics. Their colours are bright and bold, they feature whimsical travellers (often children, whose sense of innocent wonderment was appealing and effective), exotic locations with an emphasis on national monuments, local mythological figures and the uniqueness of native people, and/or modes of transportation.

But most importantly, they portrayed the idea of leisure, freedom, pleasure, and luxury. They promised adventure in a new and exciting place. As author Henry Miller said, these posters evoked a sense that “one’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of seeing things”.


Designers who specialized in travel posters slowly emerged in the early 1900s. Artists such as Emile Cardinaux in Switzerland, Adolfo Hohenstein in Italy, and Hugo d’Alesi in France created beautiful, brightly colored, and highly stylized images of exotic locations to inspire travelers to explore.

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The Grand Tour Space Poster

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Hong Kong Travel Poster

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Roma Travel Poster

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Switzerland Skiing Travel Poster

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Sweden Travel Poster

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Hollywood Travel Poster

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Japan Travel Poster

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No Rain in Portugal Travel Poster

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Milano Italy Travel Poster

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Madrid Travel Poster

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Copenhagen Denmark Travel Poster

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Great Barrier Reef Travel Poster

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Côte d'Azur Travel Poster

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Italy Travel Poster

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Italy Map Travel Poster

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Venice Italy Travel Poster

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Amalfi Italy Travel Poster

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Germany Travel Poster

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Austria Travel Poster

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St. Moritz Travel Poster

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Tokyo Travel Poster

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Napoli Italy Travel Poster

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Hawaii Travel Poster

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Alaska Travel Poster

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Japan Travel Poster with Waterfall

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Hamburg Travel Poster

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Bulls in Spain Travel Poster

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Spain Travel Poster

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Bavarian Alps Travel Poster

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Holland Travel Poster

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Canada Travel Poster

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The Rocky Mountains Travel Poster

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Chile Travel Poster

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San Juan Travel Poster

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New Jersey Travel Poster

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New York with Statue of Liberty Travel Poster

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London by Train Travel Poster

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Montreux Switzerland Travel Poster

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Los Angeles Travel Poster

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Paris Travel Poster with Eiffel Tower

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