Posters: When and How Did They Originate?

5 min read

The Birth of Lithographic Posters (1880-1895)

The first posters came to life with the advent of lithography, featuring a palette of three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. Notable examples  include the works of French artist Jules Chéret, who produced approximately 1,000 posters during his 30-year career.

The “Belle Époque” of Posters (1890-1900)

From French cabarets to Italian opera, from English literary circles to Spanish bullfights, and German fairs, this vibrant life was vividly depicted on posters, ushering in their magnificent era.

The New Era of Posters (1900-1914)

This period witnessed the birth of posters that resembled modern advertising posters. They employed simple yet humorous imagery to captivate the viewer’s attention.

 Posters During World War I (1914-1919)

The fate of posters took a significant turn during World War I, serving as tools for propaganda, patriotism, fundraising, and expressing the themes of war and revolution. In just two years, America alone produced about 2 million posters.

 Transition to Graphic Design (1919-1938)

This was a pivotal period where the first forays into graphic design occurred. Simultaneously, modernism witnessed vigorous expressions, including futurism, cubism, dadaism, and the emergence of Bauhaus—a golden age for poster enthusiasts.

World War II and Its Aftermath (1939-1950)

During this period, the emergence of radio and television led to concerns about posters being used for propaganda. It marked the spread of photo-posters, first in the Soviet Union and subsequently across society.

New Life and Style in Posters (1946-1965)

The 1950s introduced vibrant colors and distinctive styles aimed at capturing mass attention and reflecting the desires of a new era.

The 1960s and the Art of Rebellion

The 1960s witnessed a surge of protest and rebellion expressed through surrealism, pop art, and expressionist posters. Posters featuring album illustrations of rock groups and favorite artists also gained prominence.

 Postmodernism Posters (1970-1989)

Postmodernist style dominated posters created during this period, featuring innovative graphic solutions.

Posters from 1990 to Today

While the role of posters today differs from a century ago, they continue to hold a special place in art, embodying the spirit of the times.

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