20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS

There was a time when well-traveled luggage looked like the suitcase above: covered with travel stickers, trophies of every adventurous explorer. My father, who spent his youth traveling across Europe in the 60s and 70s kept his weary suitcase for a long time; as a child, I admired all those well-aged little pictures of remote hotels and places I'd never been to.

These long forgotten and gone labels—all tiny pieces of ephemeral advertising in different shapes and sizes—were awesome examples of graphic design and applied typography. I selected twenty of my favorite ones. Here they come:

Grand Hotel Milan, a 151 years old luxury hotel in the center of Milan, Italy.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


To the French riviera, and to Canada by Sabena. Sabena was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotel Béke, Budapest. Opened in 1913 as "Britannia", renamed after the 2nd World War in 1945 – "Béke" means "peace" –, and still operates as "Radisson Blu Beke Hotel".

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Malév - Hungarian Air Transport. "Malév" was a Hungarian airline from 1946 to 2012.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Cécil Hotel, Nice, France. Built in 1905, still operates as Hôtel Victor Hugo.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Gran Hotel Victoria, Madrid, Spain. Opened in 1923, known today as ME Madrid Reina Victoria.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotel Regina, Trieste, Italy. Also known as Hotel Balkan. It was built between 1901 and 1904, burnt in 1920 by Italian Fascists, and restored from 1988 to 1990. Now it is a university building and library.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Laurin Hotel, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. Still a seaside hotel under the same name.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotel Express, Budapest, Hungary.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Dunakanyar, i.e. "Danube Bend" is a Z-shaped curve of the Danube in Northern Hungary.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Albergo Torino, Roma. Today: Hotel Torino.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Lago Di Como, Italia. Lake Como sticker.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Pécs is a Southern Hungarian city, this sticker features its landmark, the 176 meters tall TV tower, built in 1973.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotel Trieste E Victoria, Abano Terme, Italy. Today: Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Grand Hotel Mediterraneo, Florence, Italy. Still a flourishing hotel under the same name.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Grand Hotel Margitsziget, Budapest, Hungary. Built in 1873, still operates as "Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget".

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotell Astoria, Oslo, Norway. Today: Thon Hotel Astoria.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Hotel Szabadság, Budapest, Hungary. Today: Best Western Hotel Hungaria.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS


Bonus: Malert baggage name tag. "Malert" was a Hungarian airline from 1922 to 1944.

20 Awesome Stickers From When Your Suitcase Told StoriesS

All stickers was scanned from the personal collection of the author. Top photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.