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:
To the French riviera, and to Canada by Sabena. Sabena was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001.
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".
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.
Pécs is a Southern Hungarian city, this sticker features its landmark, the 176 meters tall TV tower, built in 1973.
Grand Hotel Margitsziget, Budapest, Hungary. Built in 1873, still operates as "Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget".
All stickers was scanned from the personal collection of the author. Top photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images.