Hotel luggage labels are jewels in the graphic design crown. Mini posters, they rank up there among other miniatures for graphic and typographic virtuosity—razor blade wrappers, poster stamps, matchbook covers, etc. There’s no wonderful Latin-sounding word for collectors, but you can be sure they are serious nonetheless. And why not? These labels in the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s (their heyday) were not only validation of travels past, but reminders that there were more places to go.
The designers were rarely known (as with their cousins, the fruit crate label), but the expertise of the artists is clear just from looking at the outcome. And not only the image and type, but the printing was top-notch.
These labels came from a mint selection. I offer them here as the quintessence of eye candy. And here is a resource for airline luggage labels.
For more Steven Heller, check out Design Literacy: Understanding Graphic Design—one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.