A Guide to Vintage Ski Posters

Before the camera came along, illustrators filled the world's magazines and billboards with their clever and colorful hand-drawn compositions. As the travel industry took off – concurrent to the ski industry's – so to did the advertising for the myriad mountains across the American West and the Alps that were eager to drum up business.  

Today, these posters have become retro-chic  – bordering on retro-cliché. If you're interested in the real thing, the Omnibus Gallery has one of the most impressive collections of lithographs in the world.  

Here's a quick recap of the styles, trends and evolution of the glamorous ski poster, gone but not forgotten. 


THE MONEY SHOTS: Hospital air brah!!




THE BEGINNERS: a.k.a when a skier dates a non-skier



THE ANTHROPOMORPHICS: A polite snowman? A skiing / pipe smoking polar bear? Whaaaaaa?! 




THE DREAMATORIUMS: No gravity on the left and a happy child in-step with his parents ... dare to dream.




THE FUTURE: Have to start 'em young! 




THE MOUNTAIN GAZE: Oh, the longing and love of the great sublime. 




THE MALE GAZE: "It's a bit nippy out here isn't it?"




MORE MALE GAZE: Sex sells, right?  




THE MINIMALISTS: By the late '60s / early '70s geometric design came into fashion. 




 ILLUSTRATION IS DEAD: God save photography.  







David MeyerComment