A runway scene beside a departing plane of happy anthropomorphic cats; some about to depart on a trip and some waving goodbye and one flight attendant.
See our entire Captivating Cats Collection here!
Welcome aboard, fellow adventurers! Let’s embark on a tour of illustrations of vintage airplanes (or aeroplanes if you’re fancy!), classic carrier logos, and retro travel vibes that perfectly capture the essence of summertime travel.
Let’s start by saluting this cutie! In 1941, renowned pin-up artist George Petty's captivating drawing of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) hostess became an instant sensation, capturing the hearts of travelers and spreading patriotic fervor during World War II. Known as "TWA's Petty Girl," this uniformed hostess, with a Stratoliner in the background, symbolized the spirit of the times and adorned posters, postcards, and even luggage tags! 
A saluting and smiling WWII-era TWA flight attendant with the outlined drawing of a plane behind her.
George Petty (1894-1975) was an American artist known for his iconic pin-up girls. His playful and cheeky "Petty Girls" captured the spirit of the mid-20th century and continue to influence pin-up and pop art.
See our Flight Attendant Bon Voyage Greeting Card here!
Speaking of the Stratoliner, take a peek inside of its commercial successor, the Stratocruiser! After WWII, Boeing reentered the commercial market with luxurious air travel via this plane. This realistic painting of the American Overseas Airlines' Stratocruiser shows the amenities one could expect from travel on it, including an extra-wide passenger cabin, gold-appointed dressing rooms, and a grand circular staircase leading to a beverage lounge!
An illustration of a flying Stratocruiser plane with a cross section visible inside of passengers enjoying the luxuryssenger
Travel in Style via AOA, a division of American Airlines.
See our American Stratocruiser Greeting Card here!
Did you know that  the world's oldest airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines? Established in 1919, KLM has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the airline industry. Here, KLM chose to incorporate a legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman, in their promotional posters. Known as "De Vliegende Hollander" in Holland, this ethereal vessel has a haunting tale that dates back to the late 18th century—a ship condemned to forever roam the seven seas without finding a safe harbor. How curious it may seem to include such an eerie element in a poster when encountering this phantom ship was believed to foretell misfortune! Nevertheless, KLM fearlessly embraced the legend, featuring the ghostly vessel in their promotional artwork throughout the years. They even modified the aircraft showcased in the posters to reflect technological advancements. This particular masterpiece from the 1930s was brought to life by the talented Dutch artist, Arjen Galema, infusing it with his unique artistic flair. 
A KLM plane flights in the foreground of the ghostly green boat The Flying Dutchman sailing the ocean.
The clever use of the legend of the Flying Dutchman was so popular that this poster by Arjen Galema was redone several times with different planes. This is KLM Royal Dutch Airline Douglas DC3 (1935-1936).
See our Flying Dutchman Greeting card here!
Laughing Elephant's hometown of Seattle, Washington has a rich history as an aviation town! Boeing was founded in Seattle in 1916, and over the years, it became one of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers. The company's growth brought prosperity and job opportunities to the region, and earned us the nickname "Jet City," Hence our abundant array of aeronautic illustrations:  Italian Aerial Lines by Umberto di Lazzaro, Belgium’s Sabena airline by L. Kreuzen, Swiss Ad Astra Aero by Herbert Leupin, and Air France by Atelier Percval all make for beautiful art prints that would delight any aviation or poster art enthusiast! And we've assembled them all in one place in our Aeroplanes Greeting Cards Set!
A photo of Laughing Elephant's Aeroplanes Boxed Greeting Cards with a vintage airplane on the cover
See all our Aeroplane Greeting Cards here!
See all our Aeroplane Art Prints here!
And If you're looking to document your travel plans this summer, Laughing Elephant has you covered with a delightful selection of journals adorned with the same great images featured above, plus a few more! 
The front and back of a notebook design; the front image is an illustration of a vintage plane flying over navigation tools
This was originally a poster by Luigi Bonacini for Ala Littoria S.A., the Italian national airline that operated during the fascist regime in the 1930s and 1940s. 
See all Aeroplane Journals here!
Let’s continue our time-traveling adventure with our vintage airline logos and travel posters! Peel, stick, and decorate your way to retro travel bliss with our delightful Wings of the World Luggage Label Sticker Box! From Garuda to Scadta, Ethiopian to B.O.A.C., this collection includes rare and beautiful labels from both familiar and lesser-known carriers. And then our Wings Across the World Postcard Box features vintage travel posters advertising the captivating destinations served by these same airlines. Perfect for flying back in time!
 The front of Laughing Elephant's Wings of the World - Travel Label Sticker Box
All our luggage label sticker boxes contain 20 individual peel-and-stick labels that are suitable for scrapbooking, decoupage, gift wrapping and, of course the adornment of old trunks and luggage!
See all our Travel Stickers here!
If you’re reading this blog, then you probably already know that Laughing Elephant is your go-to destination for vintage-inspired greeting cards! Whether you're commemorating a summer birthday or sending well wishes to a loved one on their "bon voyage" adventure, our wide selection of cards is sure to capture the perfect nostalgic sentiment. If that card is accompanied by a gift, why not add a touch of retro travel flair to your packages with our decorative Airmail Strip Tape? Inspired by the classic airmail envelopes of yesteryears, it's the perfect way to add a nostalgic twist to your gift-wrapping or mailings. 
A mid-century illustration of cute boy and girl pilots waving from a red plane; "Happy Birthday" is written below
Happy birthday from these mid-century cute pilots!
See all Birthday Cards here!
Lastly, simply because of their name, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the iconic band Jefferson Airplane. Emerging from the vibrant counterculture of the 1960s, Jefferson Airplane took the music scene by storm with their groundbreaking psychedelic rock sound. With charismatic vocalists like Grace Slick and Marty Balin leading the way, their music served as a sonic embodiment of the era's rebellious spirit and free-thinking ideals. Hits like "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" became anthems of a generation, while their album "Surrealistic Pillow" remains a timeless classic. Their music soars much like airplanes! 
Jefferson Airplane - Psychedelic Posters Art Print
Jefferson Airplane's innovative sound and unapologetic artistic expression left an indelible mark on the history of rock music, solidifying their status as pioneers of the psychedelic movement. 
See our Psychedelic Art Prints Collection here!
July 10, 2023 — Allison Frey

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