By Ken Hegan for MSN

TAGS_05When I’m not travelling, I dream of exotic beaches, markets, and rail journeys where I’m fighting bad guys on top of the train.

To help my travel dreams flow each night, I do three things:

1) I keep a bug-out bag by the front door

2) As I drift off, I listen to recordings of boarding gate announcements

3) I fill our apartment with inspiring, travel-themed art.

Last week I learned how to build these fantastic DIY Vintage Suitcase Shelves. This week I’ve stumbled across vivid wall posters inspired by vintage luggage tags.

A London-based illustator and graphic artist, Neil Stevens, has designed a series of wall prints inspired by classic airport baggage tags. I emailed Stevens to ask him how he came up with this concept.

“I was converting my loft into a studio space when I cleared out a lot of old luggage labels and straight away was transported back to those destinations,” wrote Stevens.

“I immediately went to the sketch pad to draw a few out, and then researched vintage 1950’s and ’60s tags and made the decision there and then to just create as many as I could in one afternoon,” he said.

TAGS_04To date, he’s created baggage tag posters for airports in New York City, JFK, Paris, London, Istanbul, Montreal, Barcelona, and Venice.

On his website, Stevens says, “There was something about the now iconic, easily reconisable three letter abbreviations of the city destinations, and the small surrounding details that I thought would look great blown up and on a wall. They often avoided logos, had no advertising, and were purely just the information you needed.”

“They can be either just a stand alone piece of art that you like for the graphic design, typography,” Stevens added via email, “but predominantly they can be a memento of a recent vacation, a destination for a honeymoon, a regular flight to see family and hopefully inspire people to travel to these destinations.”

TAGS_03Asked which posters he’s planning next, Stevens replied, “There’s so many in the pipeline. I’m getting a lot of orders from North America at the moment so will no doubt be adding Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver along with numerous European destination very soon.”

Stevens’ handsome retro posters are printed on High White Smooth 315gsm uncoated paper and sell for 30 to 46 pounds ($46.28 to $70.96 CDN). When you order a poster, he protects it with tissue, and ships it rolled inside a cardboard tube (you’ll have to frame it yourself). It should arrive within 7-10 days in the U.K. and, well, a little longer if you live in North America.

To order your own flight tag print, visit

What baggage tag poster should Stevens create next?

— Ken Hegan


Read more of Ken’s travel stories here


Twitter: @KenHegan


Photos courtesy Neil Stevens