Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

Come to Finland

Travel Advertising from the Golden Age of Poster Design

FINLAND IS HIGH on my list of places to visit once I am re-situated across the pond, mainly because of the exceptional warmth and charm of the Finns I am blessed enough to call my friends. If the Finns themselves weren’t reason enough to visit the Land of the Midnight Sun, journalist & travel historian Magnus Londen has teamed up with copywriter Joakim Enegren and web operative Ant Simons to compile Come to Finland: Posters & Travel Tales 1851-1965. The art of poster design is one sadly neglected today, when advertising has developed into myriad other more pervasive yet less impressive forms. The book’s closing date, 1965, roughly marks the end of the golden years of poster design. Visitors to the book’s website can order postcards of the posters featured in the book, or copies of the posters themselves, more of which the dedicated poster-hunting authors are continually discovering.

Here are a few posters from the book, which advertise places as varied as the Åland Islands, an autonomous archipelago, and Viipuri, which was annexed by the dastardly Soviets after the Second World War and which is now styled ‘Vyborg’ by the Russians.

This post was published on Sunday, August 1st, 2010 7:10 pm. It has been categorised under Art Design Posters World and been tagged under , , , , .
2 Aug 2010 9:17 am

Attractive travel posters are indeed convincing!

The Hoover Institution has a large collection of political posters.

To search the collection online:

Here is an idea for a romantic gift during WWI:

2 Aug 2010 2:13 pm

Have you ever read Roger Scruton’s Gentle Regrets ? He completely lambastes the Fins. Unfairly methinks, but still rather abrasive.

3 Aug 2010 2:20 am

No mention in the posters, I see, of Finland’s greatest product: Sibelius.

If Roger Scruton wants to lambaste the country that produced Sibelius (and other worthwhile composers, such as Yrjo Kilpinen and Uuno Klami), not to mention the country whose vastly outnumbered military forces gave Stalin in 1940 an unforgettable smack in 1940, then he has some serious explaining to do.

3 Aug 2010 10:53 am

After World War I the US loaned vast amounts of moola to European countries to rebuild and recover. Finland is the ONLY country that repaid us a cent.

Curated Secrets
3 Aug 2010 4:28 pm

A wonderful post, Andrew – though it’s worth noting that the Russians changed the name of the city back to Vyborg, which is essentially what it was always called in Swedish, the language of administration for most of the last millennium.

Those passing through Helsinki / Helsingfors are urged to have lunch or dinner in the wonderful Savoy restaurant, Marshal Mannerheim’s favourite. His regular table still bears an heraldic plate on the wall nearby. One can still order his usual dishes: a glass of Marski’s Snaps, Vorschmak (actually said to be a Polish dish he enjoyed while a cavalry officer in Warsaw) and the like.

6 Aug 2010 3:24 pm

Ah, thank you for this post Andrew! You are welcome to visit me, Petra Petra, etc. whenever you like. Although Petra is moving to Copenhagen soon! :( Suomiland awaits you!

ps. Tintin et Milou.

22 Oct 2010 1:09 pm

Yeah, but of course if and when my manager makes it to finland, I would book myself on the first flight back home from copenhagen! :D

Andrew Cusack
22 Oct 2010 1:55 pm

Your manager is pleased with this idea!

But of course I must also visit Copenhagen. The people of Uganda have been negotiating with me to make you their queen — it’ll be good for record sales!

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