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Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design

Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design

Current price: $30.00
Publication Date: October 29th, 2019
Penguin Books
Special Order - Subject to Availability


A nostalgic and celebratory look back at one hundred years of passenger flight, featuring full-color reproductions of route maps and posters from the world's most iconic airlines, from the author of bestselling cult classic Transit Maps of the World.

In this gorgeously illustrated collection of airline route maps, Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts look to the skies and transport readers to another time. Hundreds of images span a century of passenger flight, from the rudimentary trajectory of routes to the most intricately detailed birds-eye views of the land to be flown over. Advertisements for the first scheduled commercial passenger flights featured only a few destinations, with stunning views of the countryside and graphics of biplanes. As aviation took off, speed and mileage were trumpeted on bold posters featuring busy routes. Major airlines produced highly stylized illustrations of their global presence, establishing now-classic brands. With trendy and forward-looking designs, cartographers celebrated the coming together of different cultures and made the earth look ever smaller.

Eventually, fleets got bigger and routes multiplied, and graphic designers have found creative new ways to display huge amounts of information. Airline hubs bring their own cultural mark and advertise their plentiful destination options. Innovative maps depict our busy world with webs of overlapping routes and networks of low-cost city-to-city hopping. But though flying has become more commonplace, Ovenden and Roberts remind us that early air travel was a glamorous affair for good reason. Airline Maps is a celebration of graphic design, cartographic skills and clever marketing, and a visual feast that reminds us to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

About the Author

Mark Ovenden is a design historian, bestselling author, presenter, broadcaster, and lecturer.

Maxwell Roberts is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex.

Praise for Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design

"[A] pictorial history—complete with homages to previous map genres and plenty of art deco and mod aesthetics."The Atlantic’s CityLab 

“A celebration of air travel throughout the decades, [and] a visual reminder of how graphic design has evolved over the last hundred years.”—

“Beautiful . . . filled with images of vintage airline maps starting as early as 1919 . . . Sure to please armchair globetrotters and graphic designers alike."—Shelf Awareness

Praise for Transit Maps of the World:

"Ovenden does what no other design history book has ever done. Transit Maps of the World is a must-have."--The New York Times Book Review 

"Fantastic."--LA Times

"The perfect book."--USA Today