TEAL Vintage Travel Posters
For emerging New Zealand advertising agencies in the 1950s, Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) was a premium account.
From 1950 TEAL, the forerunner of Air New Zealand, commenced offering Kiwis the first opportunity to spread their wings with flights to glamorous destinations across the Pacific. For young talented graphic designers, working on the TEAL account promoting flying to exotic pacific locations enjoyed by a fortunate few was a career highlight.
The fledgling airline was open to creative freedom that gave artists licence to produce cutting edge marketing collateral that included stunning colourful travel posters. TEAL had a relatively large budget for promotion that included the ability to use quality colour printing that was time-consuming and expensive.
In the 1950s, political correctness, equality and the angst of cultural appropriation were unknown concepts. This allowed the freedom to promote mythical Pacific ideals influenced by Western Tiki Culture.
In later years these posters are recognised as significant milestones in the trajectory to modern advertising and as stand-alone works of art.
Teal Motor Lodge has three stunning examples of 1950s TEAL travel posters displayed:
FIJI - FLY TEAL c.1950s Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) Travel poster by Arthur Thompson (1915 – 1997).
Conjuring up stylised tropical delights of a Fiji stopover on TEAL’s island-hopping Coral Route.
Fiji was one of the airline’s most popular destinations. The romance of the Pacific and TEAL’s stylish flying boats proved to be an irresistible combination for wealthy international tourists.
TAHITI - FLY TEAL (Woman looking through bamboo blinds) c.1958 Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) travel poster by Arthur Thompson (1915 – 1997).
Promoting Tahiti’s reputation as a mysterious and exotic destination. The final stop on TEAL’s famous Coral Route - a romantic island hop in TEAL’s stylish flying boats from Auckland to Papeete.
The image was believed to be depicted from a 1957 film, The Little Hutt that starred Ava Gardner.
TAHITI - FLY TEAL (Tiare Tahiti - Bathing Tahitian maiden) c.1957 Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) travel poster by George Moore (1916 – 2013)
The stylised illustration of a sensual topless Tahitian maiden is probably the most iconic signature of TEAL’s famous Coral Route. Using minimal brushstrokes cleverly conjures up the emotional and associative power of Tahiti as an erotic Garden of Eden.
The poster does not depict the destination, rather the idea. This allows the viewer to project their own dreamlike possibilities that could unfold while visiting this mysterious and exotic location.
Tiare Tahiti was rather risqué at the time. It helped TEAL depict Tahiti as an edgy tropical playground destination; the final stop on TEAL’s famous Coral Route - a romantic island hop in TEAL’s stylish flying boats from Auckland to Papeete.
The poster design was probably based on a photograph by Life photographer Eliot Elisofon in 1954, of a woman fixing her hair in a river in French Polynesia, taken for LIFE Magazine.
At bottom of poster is TEAL’s famous logo of a symbolised flying fish, the Maroro.