Travel posters by Leonard Cusden and Jack Merriott

I showed my illustration students a selection of travel posters today by the likes of Leonard Cusden and Jack Merriott; they introduced a flavour of summer to a bitter cold February Monday morning.

I love the simplicity, composition and limited palette. They are all classic and timeless; the way typography and image hang together so effortlessly is beguiling.

The posters really made me want to jump on a train and head on down right away to St.Ives. A fix of the Barbara Hepworth Museum, Tate Gallery, and a meander round Downalong wouldn’t need much persuasion.  Twice before we’ve enjoyed  breaks  at this time of year with weather sunny and mild enough to sit on the beach and read the Guardian. It sometimes catches the Gulf stream so you can be lucky with better weather than in high summer. It can be quieter too.

Unfortunately some of my students were  so eager to press on with their travel posters they forgot to let the ink dry sufficiently before adding chalk pastel and I had to remind them to watch their language as swear words streamed effortlessly from their mouths. Fortunately we were in the life room so couldn’t be heard and at least some of them were able to dry their illustrations in front of the heaters.

The results looked good; they had taken on board the simple, powerful compositions of the travel posters and responded really well to postcards I had brought along. Places like Beer, St Ives, Budleigh Salterton, Santa Ponsa and San Diego were all covered confidently and lent themselves beautifully to the travel poster format. I’m sure even the most stay at home tourist would be tempted,.


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