Presentation Outline

A Concise History of the Poster
Poster Illustration in the Western World


Printmaking and the Roots of the Poster as it is Currently Known

Early Parisian Poster Art
-Edouard Manet, Jules Cheret, Leonetto Cappiello
-Night Life, Beautiful girls dressed in the fashion of the era, Comfortable marriage of illustrated typography and image
-The French poster skyrocketed Parisian Night Life, which embraced all walks of life from Expatriate writers, to esteemed artists, to prostitutes.

Late Parisian Poster Art
-Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Theophile Alexandre Steinlen
-Shadowy figures, Beautiful girls dressed in the fashion of the era and dancing, Absynthe, alcohol
-Social Context

Art Nouveau/Jugendstil
-Alphonse Marie Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley, Henry Van de Velde
– Abstract decorations, Borders, floral and organic matter.
– Dates
– Social Context

The Art Nouveau style hailed influences from Gothic Illuminated lettering of the 15th century.  In the beginning, Mucha modeled his poster after Cheret.  His work became some of the most iconic representations of the Art Nouveau style we have today.  Henry Van De Velde’s poster for Tropon marks a move towards abstraction that was much different for the realism of French posters at the end of the 19th century.

German Expressionism and World War I
– Oskar Kokoschka, Stahl-Arpke
– Emotional, Non-realistic, visible artist’s hand, dramatic typography, influenced by Japanese wood engravings
– Dates
– In Germany at the time there was a revival in Nationalism, and German Expressionist posters embraced it in a way by making something completely German.

– John Heartfield, Walter Dexel, Joost Schmidt, Herbert Bayer
– Themes
– 1919-1933 Germany
– Social Context

Kasimir Malevich’s Suprematism style, with its nonobjective flat shapes deeply affected the Bauhaus aesthetic.  In 1919 the first Bauhaus in Weimar opened, combining the inspiration of painters such as Paul Klee and Kandinski with the structuralism of poster makers, architects, and designers.  The Bauhaus use of Typography refreshed the poster after its period of crisis in WWI.  Though the school of Bauhaus did not last very long, its influence through graphic and poster design is staggering.

World War II and the Propaganda Posters
– Artists
– Themes
– Dates
– Social Context

Post World War II: The Movie and Entertainment Poster
– Artists
– Themes
– Dates
– Social Context

Psychadelic Posters and the Fillmore
– Artists
– Themes
– Dates
– Social Context

The Commercial Posters of the 70s and 80s
– Artists
– Themes
– Dates
– Social Context

Punk/Hardcore Posters and Flyers of the 80s-90s
– Artists
– Weird, Gross, Anarchy, Young Angst Community
– 1988-1992
– With access to copy machines, young artists created posters and flyers for punk and hardcore shows in their area, plastering America in their anarchist, atheist aesthetics.

-The consumer-grade copy machine and access to stores such as Kinko’s put the poster into the hands of the 90s punk scene, mostly made up of young anarchists.
-Posters in this movement were reminiscent of German Expressionism for messy aesthetic and abrasive, visual emotion.
-Also embraced “weird” aesthetics from the 60s and took them into “gross” realms.
The New D.I.Y. and Indie Poster
– Artists
– Independent music, “throwback,” young community
– 1995-
– After the extreme usage of Photoshop in Poster Illustration in the early 90s, Indie musicians diverted away from the glossy, mechanical prints and towards a handmade, silkscreened poster with hand drawn aesthetics.

-The Indie poster spawned from the D.I.Y. principles of punk posters but aimed for a higher aesthetic
-Screenprinting is the medium of choice for most D.I.Y. and Indie poster artists
-Mostly done for Indie bands or local events, strong sense of community
-Extremely collectible
-Utilizes outlets for selling such as,,,, local craft shows, sold at concerts, etc.


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