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traveling through the wall

July 21, 2011

I like that Pixar added some class to the marketing of Cars 2 by creating some virtual posters inspired by vintage designs. Vintage travel posters are one of things I like and collect.

The posters I like are not wholly realistic representations of places. They are artful representations. I like the strong lines, the layering, flattened perspective and light-dark contrasts. These are hallmarks of Art Deco/ Arte Moderne style which I am partial to. The use of color—big chunks of it drawn from a limited palette—makes a virtue of the constraints of large scale lithography.

The artists use color to pull you into the image.


The less real an image is the more idealized the viewer can make it. You are invited to see Paris or Florence as you want it to be. You can project yourself into the locale: that’s the purpose of the dark foreground images—they frame your focus and pull you into the bright center.

Being old, they remind of a time when travel was more leisurely and romantic (not that i ever experienced that). Traveling today is awful. Airports and airplanes are demeaning. Crowds and noise everywhere and unless you pay big bucks you can forget service.

A vacation should be an escape. You go to an unknown place to see and experience things that are different from everyday life. In the unknown place you are unknown as well. You are a different person to the new people you meet and even to yourself. And hopefully after a week of experiencing the Tuscan light, you start to see your life in a Tuscan light. All the crap you left at home rejoins you when you return, but looked at now through the memory of the glorious golden light that inspired Dante and DaVinci, you can deal with them better.

When I look at my vintage travel posters I see beautiful design. I see places I want to visit. I see the better person I will be after I experience them.

Paul Colin makes me want to be a person who goes to Paris.

His imitator does not do the same for Cars2

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