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Did NASA just solve the future of ski posters?

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I love ski posters and their distinctive art a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

My favorite coffee table book is nothing more than a collection of these from the past century and my wife maximized the number I had by my desk by framing their postcard versions instead of full-sized variations.

But it’s a bit of a shame that these classic bits of ski culture have fallen by the wayside.

Aside from Ski Vermont, I haven’t seen posters consistently produced for a long, long time.

But a recent concept from NASA of all things combined with a very clever twist has the wheels turning in hopes that there may be a way for resorts to revive this lost art.

The Posters
Let me start with their posters.

The style of art I love is on full display and the messages are simple, fun, and based in some really clever and witty science.

Fifteen in all, I was surprised when, looking for a “buy now” or “add to cart” button, I came up empty. Instead, I finally opened my eyes and saw the text below each one.

Yes, these posters are totally free. You can download and print at your local copy shop or Walmart or online at the print provider of your choice.

My Behavior
Here’s where it got really interesting for me.

Despite having seen a few good posters in online stores or ski museums, I haven’t bought anything in that regard for a while. Yet, upon seeing these free posters, suddenly my mouse is hovering over the download link when I catch myself and realize what has happened.

I wouldn’t buy a poster, but I would download a free poster and print it locally.

Not sure how common that behavior would be, but it absolutely was the case for me.

When it comes to design like this, the resort usually does little of the work. Instead, the true cost of posters to a resort are typically in the printing, overhead, fulfillment, etc. departments.

So, if:

  • A resort could get posters designed
  • And get more people to download/print/hang them
  • Without the usual overhead

Suddenly you have a really lightweight marketing campaign that only requires a line-item in the budget for the design and not bandwidth from anyone on any team to print, stock, and fulfill.

Which means maybe, just maybe, resorts have a way to get back into the poster game.

I wouldn’t be sad if that were the case.

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