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The Fascinating History of Poster Art and Design

Created On: 1/30/2023

Poster art and design have a rich history dating back to the 19th century. One of the earliest forms of poster art was the political poster, used to promote candidates and causes. These posters were often hand-drawn and featured bold text and striking imagery.

 Political poster with recruiting message showing Uncle Sam

In the late 1800s, the development of lithography, a printing process that allowed for the mass production of posters, led to a boom in the poster industry. This allowed for posters to be produced in large quantities and distributed widely, making them a popular form of advertising for products, events, and entertainment. 

Art nouveau, an art movement that emerged in the late 1800s, significantly influenced poster design. Art nouveau posters featured flowing lines, organic shapes, and bright colors. They were used to promote everything from travel to theater productions.

Art nouveau poster of the 1904 St Louis International Exposition

During World War I, poster art was used for propaganda, with governments and organizations creating posters to rally support for their respective causes. These posters' bold, patriotic imagery and messaging had a powerful impact on public opinion.

In the 1920s and 1930s, poster art experienced a resurgence in popularity with the rise of Art Deco. Art Deco posters featured geometric shapes, bold colors, and sleek lines. They were used to promote everything from movies to consumer products.

The 1950s and 1960s saw a new wave of poster art and design with the rise of the "modern" poster. These posters featured minimalist designs, often using simple shapes and flat colors. They were used to promote products and events and were particularly popular in advertising.

Modern midcentury poster showing a cowboy playing a guitar on an orange background

In recent years, poster art and design have continued to evolve, with digital technology allowing for new forms of expression and distribution. Posters can now be created and shared online. The use of social media has allowed for greater engagement and interactivity between artists and audiences.

Overall, poster art and design have played an essential role in shaping public opinion and promoting products, events, and ideas throughout history. The art form has evolved, reflecting changing artistic movements and technological advancements. It continues to be a powerful medium for communication and expression.

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Holiday Shipping Times & Cut Off We are currently able to ship all print types in time for the holidays, but the sooner you order, the better. Shipping companies are advising to ship packages for holiday delivery by December 16th. Many packages shipped after the 16th will still arrive in time for the holidays, but they are not guaranteeing it. While we do not have full control over the shipping and transit times, here is our best guess at the realistic cutoff dates. West Coast: Order by December 16th Central: Order By December 20th East Coast: Order by December 21st