Alexey Kot's beautiful retro board game illustrations take us back to the Golden Age of Flying

The Belarus-based artist has recreated the style of iconic airline ads of the 1960s – like those for PanAm and TWA – for a new boardgame. But look closely and not everything is perfect.


The 1960s was the 'golden age of flying', when air travel was widespread – especially in America – but expensive enough to be seen as a privilege enjoyed by only by the rich and the successful businessman (and, being the 60s, it was almost exclusively men who flew for business. Thankfully times have changed, tho they still need to change more).

It's this world that a new board game from Russia called Ready for Takeoff is set – which features these illustrations by Alexey Kot that are almost-perfect pastiches of those used in airline ads of the time.

 I say 'almost perfect' because the ads for American airlines of the era focussed on the prestige and sense of adventure associated with travel. Flying was exciting, exclusive and said that you were "going places" both metaphorically and literally. Alexey's illustrations, however, feature some the challenges those running airlines faced.

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Even the cover of the box here has a pilot talking to a member of groundcrew in the middle-ground, with the poses indicating that something definitely isn't running smoothly.

The game is set in New York's JFK airport in the 1960s, with each player taking the role of a different airline. Alexey's illustrations are used across the game's cards that reveal what's happening to each airline at the airport – from a 'Lucky' Pilot to delays, fog and snow.


The game was designed by Hagen Temeryazev, an airline pilot who previously captained Airbus 320 planes.

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For Brits, the ilustration style is also evocative of the illustrations in classic Ladybird Books, which were recently satirised by Miriam Ella.


As well as illustrations, Alexey also created pastiche ads for the game.


Players win the game by being the first to take off. To do this, they must collect the correct card and deal with delays.

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And if they're feeling sneaky, they can delay other players too.