New book celebrates 100th anniversary of National Park Service through poster art

A new book features retro-looking artwork of some of the most popular national parks. Photo courtesy Anderson Design Group
A new book features retro-looking artwork of some of the most popular national parks. Photo courtesy Anderson Design Group

Remember those vintage posters advertising national parks in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s? Look at one and you can smell the musty canvas of an old tent and feel the tug of a backpack on your shoulders.

The National Parks Service will mark its 100th anniversary this August, and to celebrate, Anderson Design Group created brand-new versions of some of those old lithographs.

The coffee table book, “59 Illustrated National Parks, Celebrating 100 Years of Wilderness and Wonder,” by Joel Anderson and his son Nathan Anderson, features original illustrations reminiscent of those created in the Golden Age of Poster Art.

The illustrations are reminiscent of park posters printed in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Photo courtesy Anderson Design Group
The illustrations are reminiscent of park posters printed in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Photo courtesy Anderson Design Group

The artwork looks original, but it’s not. The Andersons studied the typography, style and poster-making methods used to create those original prints, but put their own stamp on them. The result will leave you yearning for marshmallows toasted over a campfire and a warm sleeping bag.

The retro-looking posters represent some of the most popular parks, from Yellowstone, created in 1872, before the National Park Service was established, to Pinacles, dedicated in 2013. In between you’ll find Acadia, Denali, the Grand Canyon, Zion and more, including two Texas gems – Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend.

You’ll also find photos, trivia and tales about those parks and the people who protect and preserve them. (Did you know California has the most national parks, with nine? That’s more than Alaska, which comes in second with eight.)

A hardcover version of the book sells for $49.95 here. A paperback version is available for $29.95 here.

The book includes a poster of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. Photo by Pam LeBlanc
The book includes a poster of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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