Posters Research

Looking into posters from the mid 19th century through to the present, it has become clear that during the 1890s, this was the time where the poster really became the posters we know of today. Art Nouveau or ‘New Art’ is a movement in art inspired by the natural forms or structures and architecture. It is known as a ‘total’ art style, meaning that it combines graphic design, architecture, textiles, interior design and lighting etc.

I went an attempted to find the most earliest and possibly the first ever poster which involved this style. It was within the fine art and graphic designers is where the poster for adverts grew in favourable for theatre and plays. It was Aubrey Beardsley that created an illustrative graphics poster for Oscar Wilde’s play Salome, the poster entitled ‘The Peacock Skirt’ in 1893. (below)


I think this is a beautiful illustration, showing natural form, patterns and slick graphic design. Without words/text this poster gives an illusion of the play it is advertising. More of a representation than informative. It looks majestic, cultural and delicate. The illustration has a way of guiding the eye around the image, giving it a sense of flow, or movement.

As the Art Nouveau moved on, and dispersed, new type of poster designs were being created. Artist Lucian Bernhard was giving us the simplistic, flat colour designs for the first time. Bernhard used a centre focus on the object being advertised and its brand name. This was the first time adverts become eye-catching and making the audience see all the information at a seconds glance. As the brief for the new project asks for a series of posters, I thought I would find a few that I could relate to.

bernhard1 bernhard2 bernhard3

These posters show great use of simple composition, and direction through the poster. Using a simple 1 word and 1 image, the layout is crucial. These poster appear to be screen printed, and using only three colours for each poster. The bold use of font and simplicity of the images are a great choice for making different variations, in a series, or collection.


As for the most recent, 21st century contemporary poster, I have tried to look for something which holds my interest and something that shows good communication with its subject matter. I went looking for a non digital poster. I also wanted to keep in mind the process ideas, not computer graphics. I searched for a series in posters, and something with more illustration than text. Below is what I chose.


That is two separate posters. Most advertising that the new movie entitled ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ is coming to cinemas in 2016. I have chosen these posters as they communicate to each other beautifully. Creating a series of opposites. The tear in the paper, showing the different layers has an authentic, billboard, style of process about it; like its been hand made. There’s no indication of digital process in these posters, apart from the small about of text. These posters visually communicate the coming soon movie with anticipation, hidden expressions and as minimal information as possible. These posters appeal to the franchise fans, printmakers, graphics designers and illustrators; given the basic yet, eye catching, element that we do not need over used digital processes to get a message across.


(also see my blog about alternative movie posters here)






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