Exploring Aviation through Art

poster collection

In mid 2010, we introduced Trim Tabs readers to the Navtech Aviation Poster Collection, our virtual exhibition of stunning, aviation-related works of art. From ads to magazine covers to air show posters, the early history of flight is captured in arresting graphic design. You can peruse two full galleries online at posters.navtech.aero and now, with every issue of TrimTabs, we’ll bring a sample of the exhibition to you. 

 We open with an example from the 1920s gallery that captures the magic and romance of early flight: Aerial Voyages – Night Flights Over Paris, with graphics by Jean Carlu. Published in Paris in 1924, the poster advertises evening, aerial trips over Paris. For 100 francs, passengers could hire the Compagnie Aerienne Francaise (CAF) for a trip to see the lights of Paris from above. CAF was one of many companies founded in 1919 that took advantage of the generous support provided by the French government, which was eager to develop air transportation. Short excursions like these night flights, dubbed “Air Baptisms,” were a CAF specialty.

While the company never became a major passenger carrier, they showed exceptional talent in hiring graphic artists. This poster, which marked the departure point for the flights, was created by Jean Carlu, a gifted and dedicated designer. Carlu was renowned for his pioneering ability to establish a company image through the use of bold color and clean line. This lithograph and its CAF logo is an ideal example of Carlu’s work from the mid 1920s, when he embraced the cubist movement. Carlu later designed the first label for Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine – the first of the label’s fine art history. Subsequent labels were designed by Georges Bracque, Salvadore Dali and Joan Miro.

Discover more at posters.navtech.aero.

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