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Architecture Posters

Whether designed to promote a travel destination or simply to commemorate a structural feat, posters featuring prominent buildings celebrate both the history of architecture and the overall heritage of poster design. Developed in tandem with the field of travel-oriented posters, architecture posters share a collection of captivating imagery designed to compel the viewer to visit.

Architecture as a key feature in poster design took hold as early as the late years of the 19th century, just as the field of mass-produced poster art was coming into its own. European railway companies, like England's Great Northern Railway, made particular use of the poster to promote the possibilities of traveling their lines. It is among these early images that designers instilled the notion that a well-placed architectural landmark could help the viewer connect with a location and encourage them to travel to it.

This alluring ability worked so well that many travel-oriented industries from hotels to airlines used a city's architecture as a key landmark of their poster designs. As the field of posters continued to grow, more commemorative architectural posters arose as well. These designs, which aimed to immortalize in poster form a feat of architectural engineering, became popular souvenirs for tourists, travelers, and overall architecture enthusiasts.

Quick Facts

  • Many of the world's fair promotional posters, such those designed for the Chicago's Century World's Fair of 1933-1934, featured the city's architecture as their backdrops. Today, originals of these Chicago designs sell for several thousand dollars
  • The "See America" poster series sponsored by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration featured stylized, sweeping vistas of some of the United States' most beloved locations, such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge
  • Designer David Klein's 1957 poster promoting Trans World Airlines travel to New York City features a vibrant and abstract rendition of Times Square

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