Welcome to Stick No Bills®
We are the licensed poster art specialists; the creative safe harbour, restoring, remastering, printing and retailing centre of excellence for historic vintage and modern Art Deco style place-centric graphic art collections.
We combine fourth generation artisanal techniques with cutting edge technology and partner with the very best licensors, suppliers and retailers to promulgate museum quality prints that celebrate the stylistic heritage of the world’s most iconic brands and travel destinations.
We are champions of copyright, we hold customer satisfaction as paramount and we fundraise for vital humanitarian and conservation projects as we go.
Founded in 2011, Stick No Bills® is your original and definitive source for authentic, originally hand-sketched and / or hand-painted, exclusively licensed and embossed travel posters and fine art prints thereof.
Our absolute passion is to help you fill your walls with spectacular poster art.
We learn so much about the evolution of art, fashion and style from our clients and we are continually refining our ability to support your interior design, decorative art and collector objectives in accordance.
This website over-arches our Asia-region flagship gallery which is located on the tropical southern coast of Sri Lanka in the UNESCO world heritage city of Galle Fort; our Iberia-region flagship gallery located in the historic centre of Palma De Mallorca, capital of the Islas Baleares and a further sixty reseller outlets we supply at our luxury hotel, gallery and retail sector clients’ establishments.
With exclusive usage rights on the proven best seller artworks in our current 'live' collection, more designs, antique posters, production techniques, product variants and destinations being revealed from behind the scenes each year and a first class framing and shipping service fully integrated into our offering, we are on a mission to spearhead a renaissance in travel poster art.
In so doing, our core objective is to give you inspiring visual respite from the digital age by transporting you, time-machine-style, back to the art-deco, mid-century modern and 1980s’ golden eras of travel; to those safe, harmonious, pollution-free and uncrowded places that existed in the analogue era, prior to the advent of mass tourism and so many other challenges that have come to beset and frustrate the world in recent decades.
Perhaps one of the most poignant ironies of the global pandemic was that for those of us able to access and in some cases live in the open countryside, the mountains or the wild coastlines, the lockdowns gave us a protracted glimpse of how things used to be, of mother nature’s indomitable desire to regenerate and therefore of how things can become again if we set our hearts and minds on regeneration and re-wilding the terrains we have damaged.
In that sense we as designers have come to fully appreciate for the first time how travel posters can, in terms of the emotions they can stir, be tantamount to hope. And, because hope is essential for powering us through uncertain times, we feel more inspired to generate new content than ever these days.
With huge gratitude for the dedication of our second-to-none staff, the talent of our seven illustrators and our map maker, the collaboration of our suppliers, partners, clients and re-sellers and the enthusiasm of our myriad customers, high quality licensed prints of our images can now be found on the walls of literally hundreds of thousands of homes, hotels, restaurants, cafes and offices on all continents.
We are often asked what brought us to Galle and latterly to Palma and how did we set about designing travel posters in the first place.
When the war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009 my husband; an advertising photographer and tsunami survivor and I, a former insurgency / security risk analyst, wanted to 'be the change we wanted to see in the world' by doing something good for the local communities we had invested in; something original and uplifting that would raise positive awareness about the rich heritage and stunning natural beauty of a select few of the world’s most beautiful yet fragile places.
We saw that the place where we started out: Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed isle of twenty-one million people, second only to Hawaii in its biodiversity, had been for too long associated in most overseas peoples' minds with terrorism, the tsunami and human rights issues. We wanted to cast light on the other side of the story on the Indian Ocean's island of extremes.
What better way to tap into the aspirations, the heritage and the journey of a much-loved place, then through a celebration of its poster art movement? So there began the making of Stick No Bills®.
Since 2011, our original Asia flagship gallery has been spread out through every main room of an old Dutch colonial merchant's townhouse situated close to the intersection of Pedlars and Church Street which has now become the 'golden mile' for cultural tourism in Sri Lanka; a historic and peaceful road lined with boutiques, jewellery stores, cafés and high-end hotels that intersects Galle Fort, the incredible UNESCO World Heritage City located on Sri Lanka's tropical southwestern coast.
Since 2018 we have been glad to have been able to welcome clients and key visiting suppliers to a sister poster art gallery to our original flagship in Galle Fort, a homage to Mallorca located in Costa D’en Brossa 10 in the heart of the 2,140 year-old Roman citadel of Palma, on the southern coast of the Balearics largest island.
The name Mallorca springs from “Mayurkar”, Palma´s fortaleza of the Cordoba-sprung conquering Moors - who were themselves preceded by invading Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Vandals and succeeded by the Knights Templar, the Thirteenth Century’s military style religious order loyal to King Jamie I.
The 1920s townhouse in Palma’s ‘Casco Antiguo’ within which we undertake all our image, product and supply chain innovation activity, also serves as a permanent (forever in flux) exhibition space within which we showcase museum standard prints of the most sought-after images in our collections.
We feel lucky to be the current custodians of a building that is utterly steeped in history, connected by an underground hiding chamber leading into tunnels to the Cathedral and the beach no less.
We would challenge any leading author of historical fiction equipped with the wildest of imaginations to conjure up two more heritage-rich island paradises than the two from which we are taking the world by storm with our posters.
To this day we remain drawn to Ceylon and the Islas Baleares above and beyond anywhere else. We are entranced by their bizarrely parallel statuses as cultural cornucopias; by the extent to which they have come to represent geopolitical sweet spots, punching far above their weight in their respective regions, attracting millions of traders, invaders, settlers, conquistadors, artists and all manner of other sea-faring souls before us.
Unfortunately, the very popularity of these islands makes them especially vulnerable to over-development and pollution. It is heart-breaking to see, through our daughters’ as well as our own eyes, how much the reefs surrounding them have perished in the past few decades alone. We therefore hope that our designs can help cherish and promote the right type of respectful, sustainable, environmentally sensitive travel to these exceptionally fragile destinations in the years ahead.
In the aspirational travel poster designs that we create, we explore pernicious notions that beset visitors to coveted foreign shores; the flawed belief systems; the superiority and inferiority complexes, the racism, the superstition, the Orientalism, the chauvinism and the Xenophobia that riddle their way into the seemingly innocent picture postcards which countries' use to project either themselves or other nations they connect with out into the global geopolitical arena.
So, if you were wondering if there is sometimes an underlying satirical or provocative element to the Stick No Bills® poster art, the answer is yes. It is impossible to disengage art from politics.
Since 2020 those of you traveling to the south of Sweden and / or Barcelona may have also noticed that designs we have created in celebration of these two places so close to our hears, have been increasingly in circulation as both premium and museum grade prints. Stick No Bills® Africa, America, Austria, Bali, England, Germany, Hawaii, Japan, Mexico and Thailand are also now in the making.
Above all, it is our love of the romantic sense of place specific to the locations that we have been fortunate enough to be able to choose to live, breathe and reside in, immortalised in these series of posters depicting peak moments of their past, that resonates through all the Stick No Bills® images.
Jack Rennert of Rennert's Rare Poster Gallery in New York City, so perfectly crystallised our raison d'être in a recent publication that I asked Jack if we could quote him and he kindly approved:
"There’s something perfect about the travel poster. What I mean is the idea, the gestalt of the travel poster. It solicits. You smile. There is no resistance. The wall is a window – and now a door. You’re not here anymore. You are there: even, almost, better than being there, is being in the idea of there: the essence of place, and the specificity of time as created by the artist. These places being advertised – you cannot go there today. None of us can. They are idealisations of the past, which is another country. But the sensation of place, in the artistic past: that you can own. That can be yours. That endures.”
It has been with this sentiment in mind - underpinned by our passion for protecting original copyright while also being innovators in the fine art print arena - that we are increasingly serving as a safe harbour and printing centre of excellence for vintage poster art produced by the greatest illustrators of their time for the 20th Century’s most iconic shipping, railway, automobile and aviation brands, as well as for the longest-established tourist boards on the planet.
For six years we have been busy ‘behind the scenes’ respectfully curating, digitising, cataloguing and remastering historic artworks commissioned by the true pioneers of ‘travel for travels’ sake during the Belle Epoch, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern stylistic eras in which we revel.
Meg Gage Williams
Co-Founder & CEO
Stick No Bills®