Codex 99

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Let’s Ski Tyrol

Mid-Century Travel Ephemera, part I

This is the 1954/55 brochure for Seefeld, located some 15 km NW of Innsbruck and pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Tyrollean alps. It includes all of the typical advertising imagery – snowy Alpine vistas and photomontages of local life and happy skiers – but it also includes a beautiful Plakatkunst cover illustration by Arthur Zelger.1 Add in Toni Seelos’ famous ski-ing school [sic] and it would be rather difficult to resist a call to your travel agent:2

Seefeld, click for larger image

Aside from The Sound of Music,3 Austria may be best known for its Alpine skiing. The Tyrollean ski resorts developed out of the local hotels and hostels around the turn of the twentieth century and the region saw dramatic increases in tourism during the 1920s–30s and again in the 1950s. After WWII Tyrollean tourism was seen as a critical part of the recovering Austrian economy and in 1946 the Austrian National Travel Agency began an especially well designed and well targeted advertising campaign for the region. For the next twenty years (until the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games) many of Austria's best designers produced posters and brochures to promote the region.

Of course, as wonderful as Seefeld may have seemed, due diligence on the part of the international traveller would have required him to consider other Tyrollean destinations, so here are more brochures from 1954/55:

Ischgl, click for larger image

Ischgl, click for larger image

The annotated mountain photograph as a map.

Kitzbuhel, click for larger image

Tannheim, click for larger image St. Anton, click for larger image

Solden, click for larger image

Vent, click for larger image

1. Arthur Zelger (1914–2004) studied at the Werbegraphik an der Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna and later practiced with the legendary Joseph Binder. In 1945 he returned home to Innsbruck to open his own studio and became perhaps the best known Austrian poster artist of the last 50 years. In addition to many posters for Tyrollean resorts, he designed the Linherr Vermouth poster and the official 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games poster. For more information see: Zelger, Arthur, Pinzer, Egon. Arthur Zelger Grafik Design. Innsbruck: Tyrolia, 2001. Here are some poster examples from 1949 and 1950:

Otztal, click for larger image Igls, click for larger image

2. And if you had been so inclined, here is the rate card for the season:

Seefeld, click for larger image

3. The Sound of Music. Wise, Robert, dir. 20th Century Fox, 1964. True fact: at a running time of 174 min, or about four hours of commercial TV, your narrators’ youngest daughter will watch in its entirety, much to the dismay of her older siblings.

19 Apr 2010 ‧ Design