Posters. They’ve been a part of our culture since as long as signage was a part of business. Posters have been captivating our world since the late 1800′s and conveying an ideal, a dream, or a way of life that inspires viewers to buy a product, attend an event, or support a cause.
Posters were probably the first medium that helped to convey an identity. Viewers would see the poster and say “That is an identity I want to associate myself with.” Whether or not it was true or not with the viewer, it created an archetype in their minds that would have an effect on the products they buy and the lifestyle they would want to live.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was probably the original most famous poster designers. He created imagery in his posters that was a sign of the high society of cool for the late 1800′s in Paris. His designs started a artistic movement, Art Nouveau, that inspired the world. Soon businesses used the style to promote events to products hoping to capitalize riding the wave of popular culture.
Later, Jules Chéret and Alphonse Mucha helped propel the form even further with designs that became world famous. As lithography grew to include more vibrant colors, posters from that time became the popular choice for commercial promotion.
Today we still see movie posters and band posters and it still has the same effect. They become more than just an advertisement, but they can also become an object of desire itself. Super fans of the shown brand collect the posters, frame them, and display them in shrines all over the world.
Some posters bring back memories and think of a time when everything was great. I remember the Ferah Fawcett was hanging in my childhood friend’s woodshop.
A truly fascinating medium with a decorated history, posters will always be a definitive hyperbole that has proven power to entertain and captivate. When done right they have the ability to transform the brands that they promote into superstars.