The Lost Art of Hotel Luggage Labels

The Lost Art of Hotel Luggage Labels

We included some reproduction vintage luggage labels in this month’s travel-themed Snailbox, and I was inspired to dig deeper into the story behind these neat little pieces of lost art.

Luggage labels are fascinating bits of hotel history from the golden age of travel, roughly the 1900's to 1960's. During this time these labels were used by hotels as advertising and eagerly applied to steamer trunks, suitcases and all sorts of luggage by hotel bellhops. 

Today, these same labels are highly desirable and sought after by collectors all over the world. Many of the designs were produced by some of the best poster designers from the golden age of travel like Roger Broders, Jan Lavies and Mario Borgoni.

And now I’m officially going down a rabbit hole because they are all so gorgeous and I can’t stop looking! Lord help me from spending all the money collecting originals.

Stamp Academy: Celebrating the Posters of the WPA

Stamp Academy: Celebrating the Posters of the WPA

In March 2017, the U.S. Postal Service dedicated 10 visually striking WPA posters as a booklet of 20 Forever stamps. The designs featured are some of the most iconic representations of the posters created to support the civic-minded ideals of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

It is fitting that the WPA posters have been memorialized on postage stamps because President Roosevelt not only understood the importance of visual design and how it can communicate powerful messages, but he also had a lifelong fascination with stamps as artwork!

Artist Spotlight: Cavallini&Co

Artist Spotlight: Cavallini&Co

In 1968, a nine year old boy responded to an offer on a cereal box, and received an envelope containing luggage labels from around the world.  Forty six years later, he still has that envelope and its contents.  No one could have predicted, least of all that little boy, his interest in ephemera would one day mushroom into a business with clients around the globe.

The young lad, Brad Parberry, grew up, and like his peers, pursued the traditional route to success, earning a degree in accounting, and an MBA in International Business, eventually working in finance for a major pharmaceutical company. But he wasn’t happy. Something was missing.

He applied for a fellowship to study in Italy for a year, and serendipity stepped in. While roaming the market stalls one day he happened upon some beautiful calendars with botanical prints. He returned again and again, captivated. “I think I could sell these in the states” he told a friend, and the germ of an idea was born. 

Artist Spotlight: Worthwhile Paper

Artist Spotlight: Worthwhile Paper

Life can sometimes feel like you are wading through a swamp of negativity - battling criticism and self-doubt at work, fielding spiteful comments on social media, facing increasingly disastrous world news. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with positive mantras - to create balance and cultivate inner peace and happiness.

Kristen Drozdowski of Worthwhile Paper is here to help. We chatted with Kristen about her mission to bring positivity and beauty into the world. Her artwork is not only gorgeous, but genuinely inspiring. Read on to learn more about how she’s turned her passion for spreading happiness into a brilliant independent business.

Artist Spotlight: Aviate Press

Artist Spotlight: Aviate Press

Ava Puckett is the illustrator behind AVIATE PRESS, a stationery and lifestyle brand out of Nashville, TN, with a humanitarian mission to make you LOL. Ava finds her inspiration in girl power, pop culture, and everyday magic. Some of her favorite things include petting other people's dogs, playing soccer, and hanging out in coffee shops.

Below she talks with us about breaking into the indie-design industry, the inspiration behind her pun-filled illustrations, and how she copes with stress and anxiety to stay productive and happy.

Artist Spotlight: Badger & Burke

Artist Spotlight: Badger & Burke

BADGER & BURKE is the weird, colourful lovechild of Vancouver-based illustrators Holton Brock and Jamie Armstrong. Having just launched in 2017, these artists are hard at work creating a line of eclectic greeting cards and art prints (with more paper goodies coming) inspired by retro design, puppies, good food and bad puns.

For a brand this fun, we had a feeling the guys behind it probably don't take themselves too seriously. Read on to learn more about Holton and Jamie, the birth of Badger & Burke, and how Mel C's gold tooth is involved. 

Stamp Academy: 45 Years of Love

Stamp Academy: 45 Years of Love

The Love stamp is always a ubiquitous choice for wedding invitations and Valentine's Day, but we love this year's design so much we could use it every day! Designed by artist Anna Rifle Bond (of Rifle Paper Co.), the U.S. Postal Service fills us in on the story behind this year's addition to the Love Stamp series:

Artist Spotlight: Paper Raven Co.

Artist Spotlight: Paper Raven Co.

People have long looked to nature to find calm, peace, and harmony in their lives. Erin McManness lives by that mantra, and has learned to bring the spirit of nature indoors with her botanical illustrations.

Erin founded PAPER RAVEN CO. in 2014, working out of her home nestled among the peach trees of Atlanta, GA. What started as a small greeting card line has grown to include wallpaper, fabric and home decor, all with an illustration-first focus. Each design starts with pen-to-paper, in a real sketchbook, drawn by Erin's loving hands. It is her mission to share empowerment, love and gratitude with you through her designs.

Below Erin fills us in on how she stays motivated and productive, kicks the "hustle" mindset, and maintains a healthy work/life balance:

Artist Spotlight: Hammerpress

Artist Spotlight: Hammerpress

Brady Vest, founder of Kansas City-based HAMMERPRESS, has his pulse on a letterpress renaissance. Even if you haven’t heard of letterpress, you’ve certainly benefitted from its invention. Until the middle of the last century, letterpress printers were responsible for creating books, pamphlets, and newspapers. To some, these movable type machines are considered junk in our digital age. But letterpress prints, posters, and greeting cards are making a big comeback, and Brady is making tremendous use of this centuries-old technology. His intricate letterpress designs are pure eye candy and make for some of the most beautiful stationery we've ever seen!

We had to know more about the man behind these stunning letterpress designs. Brady gives us a peek at the inner workings of Hammerpress below.