I recently got back from 8 weeks away in the US directing my first documentary film, called Alfred and Jakobine, check it out. Anyway, we covered over 4000 miles of US roads (it's a roadtrip documentary) but also by air. Now that I've flown home to London, it seemed like an ideal time to do a "catch up" post about "travel"– specifically about airline luggage tags, with a vintage slant.
Last year I stumbled across an old collection of my father's personal luggage tags in a drawer. He was on the road (or in the air) a lot during his career, and as someone who had a very romantic notion of travel (as do I) he kept loads of his tickets, tags, slips, etc. He loved trains for the very same reason.
Anyway, here's a random selection from dad's collection. I love the random typographic combos that result from airport code names: YYZ (my hometown Toronto), BEY, YAM, YOW, as well as the colour combos that likely resulted from available card and ink colours more than anything. Amazing how many of these airlines are no longer around. Below is an oh-so-boring, computer printed, modern luggage tag - mine from my trip back to LHR from ABQ via DFW (I miss all that colour).
I can't believe how popular these luggage tags have been in the years since I first did the post.
They've been pinned to over 2300 Pinterest boards! And loads of people have approached me asking if they can reproduce the luggage labels or create something based on the luggage labels. Here are couple of examples:
And these great magnets made using the actual luggage tag artwork