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Summary Article: poster
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Public notice used for advertising or propaganda, often illustrated. Ancestors of the modern poster were handbills with woodcut illustrations, which were posted up in public places. The French artist Jules Chéret pioneered the medium of colour lithography in his posters of the early 1860s, but the 1890s were the classic age of the poster, notable producers being Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, and the ‘Beggarstaff Brothers’ (William Nicholson and James Pryde). Poster design flourished again in the 1960s with the arrival of psychedelic art, and artists such as Rick Griffin (1944–1991) and Stanley Mouse (1921– ) in the USA, and Michael English (1942– ) in the UK.

The outstanding lithographs of Toulouse-Lautrec, designed for various Parisian resorts, were influenced by the work of Chéret and the simplified designs of Japanese prints. Inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec the ‘Beggarstaff Brothers’ created designs noted for their striking simplicity using cut-paper shapes. In the early 20th century Frank Brangwyn, Duncan Grant, Graham Sutherland, and Paul Nash, and patrons such as London Transport and Shell-Mex, were notable contributors to the development of poster design in Britain.

One of the first English posters by a distinguished artist, Frederick Walker's design announcing The Woman in White (1871), was engraved on wood.


Using image and text

Commenting on the effectiveness of an advertisement


Eisenhower campaign poster

Hitler–Mussolini Pact, poster

poster, Fougasse

Women's Land Army recruitment poster

World War I recruitment poster

World War I poster

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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