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Nostalgic Artists Made Travel Posters for Every Single National Park

Stashed in: National Parks, ART, Gift Ideas

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Today I learned the national parks are 100 years old.

In advance of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016, award-winning illustrator and art director Joel Anderson tasked Carpenter and five other artists with creating refreshed but retro interpretations of all of the country’s parks for 59 Illustrated National Parks, an art book that comes out November 16. The artists would need to depict the grand scenic value of each park while evoking the personal connection each person feels toward these places. “When we’d show the art to people who’d been there, they’d say, ‘That’s my spot now! It has a special place in my heart,’” says Nathan Anderson, Joel’s 24-year-old son, who also worked on the project. “Bringing back those memories was the theme.” 

Five years ago, Joel decided he wanted to pay homage to the iconic Works Progress Administration posters, created between 1938 and 1941 for 14 national parks to encourage Americans to explore the great outdoors. He started recruiting artists he’d worked with through his Nashville firm, Anderson Design Group, who generally specialize in that retro travel poster style. To achieve that look, most ADG art is hand-lettered and drawn or painted before it’s given a final polish on the computer. 

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