Like most things in life, design is something that’s extremely easy to take for granted. Yet even a casual look at history demonstrates that the right poster design – from Rosie the Riveter’s “We can do it” to Alberto Korda’s ubiquitous Che Guevara portrait, can motivate, inspire and shift public opinion. These prints from the Lynx Art Collection defy convention by doggedly depicting the past and the future of space travel by both avoiding the super-polished Hollywood dream and the warts-and-all reality of their subject matter. They choose instead to focus on the spirit of that desire for adventure rather than depicting its reality, and are more effective for doing so. (All posters here are printed on 100 lb. polar white photo paper.)
During the early years of manned-space exploration, the vessels that got us to the moon and back often looked like something your dad slapped together in his workshop on long weekends. The posters in the collection that celebrate that era choose to depict the meaning of those accomplishments rather than the technology, with moody tones and stirring quotations.
As the prints progress to examine our current space journeys, they leave behind the muted palette used for early travels to embrace bolder colors, suggesting something fresh, modern and technologically sophisticated.
However it is with its depictions of our future space journeys that the collection truly sounds a unique, stirring note.
Clearly owing a debt to ’50s-era depictions of what space travel would be like in the future of, well, now pretty much, these prints engender an optimism that’s been lacking not just in the space program, but in the country as a whole as of late.
Again, these prints depict the spirit of what is possible rather than some highly-polished sci-fi vision of what is to come, and in so doing might well influence today’s young people to become tomorrow’s galactic pioneers. In short, they echo Rosie the Riveter’s powerful mantra: “We can do it!”
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