2007: Binka Goes to the Airport

My dad was an aeronautics nut with a strong sense of wanderlust, so when he passed away in 2006, I channeled my grief into making a calendar he would have loved. The result? A collection of quotes, doodles, puns, and parodies of boarding passes and travel posters.


The whole thing was stapled on the side as if for a 12-leg round-the world trip, in an envelope like the old-school ticket booklets of days gone by. I noticed that some airlines' ticket stubs featured dream vacations, so I created travel posters celebrating my favorite things about air travel and airports to put on the flip side of the ticket. After all, it's the journey, not the destination, that takes a starring role here!
Below you can see all the pages of the calendar plus some decoding for those who've looked carefully at each month. The calendar also included an extra gift of a "planespotter", which had silhouettes of a handful of popular aircraft at the time.
JANUARYDesign based on: JAL (Japan Airlines; note the exploding New Year's firework in the logo)Ticket Code: 4NXN (the William Steig classic "foreign accent"?)Destination Airport Code: SNO(w)Travel Poster on Stub: Gate B9 ("benign") Path to Enflightenment
FEBRUARYDesign based on: Air France (note the heart added to the bars in the logo, and "Adoring Pass" instead of "Boarding Pass"; XOs in the form code, bottom left)Ticket Code: 1RYF ("winner wife" or "wonder why if" or "wander life"? I dunno what I was thinking with this one!)Destination Airport Code: LUV (for Valentine's Day)Travel Poster on Stub: Maison Méridienne: Square Meals of Great Circles / Taking Cuisine to New Heights / Bon Voyage / Bon Appetit (imagining airplane food as fancy French restaurant)
MARCHDesign based on: American Airlines (note in the logo on the flip side: the spring bunny instead of the eagle, the M made to look like AA, and my attempt to fill in the logo with extra letters)Ticket Code: UE10 ("you eaten?")Destination Airport Code: MUD (because of all the spring rain?)Travel Poster on Stub: Monorail: Get on the Right Track
APRILDesign based on: AlitaliaTicket Code: FRE1 ("everyone")Destination Airport Code: ECO (because of Earth Day)Travel Poster on Stub: Jet Lag(oon): Catch some rays … and zees
MAYDesign based on: ANA (All Nippon Airlines; note the logo has an added tulip for moms)Ticket Code: 1CDC (another homage to William Steig's inspirational book CDC? "see the sea?")Destination Airport Code: MOM (because of Mother's Day)Travel Poster on Stub: Horizon Vista: See the Infinite World / Behold the Windy City from a Window Seato
JUNEDesign based on: United (note that the U logo on the flip side looks like four ties, for Father's Day)Ticket Code: 3L2C ("thrill to see")Destination Airport Code: DAD (because of Father's Day)Travel Poster on Stub: Cruising Altitude: Navigate the High Seas
JULYDesign based on: jetBlue (it doesn't rhyme, but I liked my play off their TrueBlue rewards program, TrulyJuly)Ticket Code: EZ2R ("easy tour")Destination Airport Code: SEA (because of summer and the poster)Travel Poster on Stub: Baggageclaim Sea: Find what you seek.... (like "Baggage Claim C"—as someone who has lost many items in planes, I was distressed to learn about an annual lost baggage auction)
AUGUSTDesign based on: Lufthansa (note their bird has been replaced by a friendly sun; they sometimes include screened photos, so I used one of an "airplane glory": a circular rainbow you can sometimes see when the sun is above your plane as you fly over clouds)Ticket Code: — (replaced by a play off of Lufthansa branding: "There's no better way to fry" and "A Summertime Dalliance" instead of "A Star Alliance")Destination Airport Code: SUN (because of dog days of most Augusts)Travel Poster on Stub: Terminala: Discover a new Shangrila.... (like "Terminal A"—I have sometimes spent frustrating minutes looking for a distant terminal on a tight stopover and it does feel like achieving some sort of paradise when I do find it! The wooden gate uses maps of some terminals in its design.)
SEPTEMBERDesign based on: Singapore Airlines (note their bird has been transformed into a golden fall leaf; I chose their "first class" design because of the start of the school year in September; also "A Start Fall(iance)" instead of "A Star Alliance")Ticket Code: — (no staple area on the boarding pass I used for reference)Destination Airport Code: ABC (because of the start of the school year)Travel Poster on Stub: Qatarmac: What are you waiting for? (I thought comparing the hot, lifeless expanse of tarmac to the dusty dunescape, albeit beautiful, of the Arabian Peninsula; I also enjoyed throwing a Q&A onto the front of "tarmac" with this question we often ask when our flights are inexplicably delayed; the traffic director uses glowing bars to direct traffic, also carving out Arabic script; finally, I mashed up the baggage train caravan with a camel)
OCTOBERDesign based on: Continental Airlines (note their globe has been changed into a jack-o-lantern; also "boo!-ing pass" instead of "boarding pass")Ticket Code: — (no staple area on the boarding pass I used for reference)Destination Airport Code: BOO (because of Halloween)Travel Poster on Stub: Red Eye Canyon: Lose track of time… (I enjoyed imagining the nighttime runway, with its sparkling lights to guide pilots to safety, resembled the glints of moonlight on a wide river through a canyon; as a bit of a night owl and cheapskate, I've taken my share of redeye flights, and I invariably lose a few hours on the other end of that canyon)
NOVEMBERDesign based on: Northwest Airlines (note their logo looks a lot like a dinner plate! also "hoarding pass" instead of "boarding pass" because the cornucopia of food at Thanksgiving feels so indulgent; "MMM Monthlong Edibility" instead of a seal representing a shared eligibility of frequent flyer miles between KLM and Northwest; the small text ticket headers are all food-related too)Ticket Code: 84FR ("ate forever")Destination Airport Code: YUM (because of Thanksgiving)Travel Poster on Stub: Homeland: Leave your shoes at the door (an homage to the Big Brother quality of homeland security and the TSA)
DECEMBERDesign based on: Delta (note their logo was easy to change into a coniferous tree like those some families buy before the holidays)Ticket Code: XI10 ("exciting")Destination Airport Code: BRR (because of winter)Travel Poster on Stub: Tower of Control: The middle of know-where (modeled off a Tower of London poster I found, and air traffic control towers are designed to know where all the planes are and where they need to go)

I can still remember how much fun it was to research all these logos and notice how well some of the aviation companies names and logos fit thematically (and with shared letters!) to the months I needed to fill.