International travel is always a bit of a leap of faith, as we venture into the unknown to discover how life works in other places (and have lots and lots of conversations about what-is-the-word-for-something). Until you’ve seen a place for yourself, it’s a bit of an abstract idea, so why not ask Artificial Intelligence to generate your travel poster?
Maybe that’s why this series of AI-generated travel posters, commissioned from research lab Midjourney on behalf of the luggage storage company Stasher, is kind of perfect. Artificial Intelligence has been both everywhere and nowhere, and into this spotless mind, the company fed the country’s name and their official travel slogan. The rest was up to Midjourney, and the results are at least on par with the output of a high, five-figure junior art director with the mandate to “keep it vague.” Like most travel posters, Midjourney has evoked a fairly sketchy sense of place, sometimes punctuated by notable landmarks or natural features.
Italy’s poster seems to feature a Howl’s Moving Castle-esque scenario, navigating a drowning industrial landscape that spews toxic (but patriotic) clouds into the sky. The United States is basically just a giant flag, which is a statistically accurate representation of the country, and we should probably just be grateful it isn’t an image of a dumpster fire or a pile of guns.
I guess the real test of a travel poster is whether you would be able to guess what country it is promoting, in which case, basically all of these fail. But in fairness, I would be hard-pressed to match most of the human-generated official travel slogans to their country of origin, except in the cases where they explicitly mention the country (okay, I will return the points I docked for “Made in Italy”). It seems that the watchword for promotional travel materials is “make it anyplace.”