Types of Posters Through the Years

Lynne Saarte asked:

Generally, posters are large pieces of paper printed to grab the attention of a target audience and relay a message. They are generally hung from a wall or other flat vertical surface.

Over the years, posters and their purpose have evolved to what they are now- tools to advertise, disseminate, protest, and most importantly, to communicate a message from one to many. They are also made to educate, as well as to adorn an otherwise dull and lifeless surface.

Here are some of the types of posters that were produced and became part of events that marked the history of our society:

During the WWI and WW2…

World Wars 1 and 2 saw the emergence of the propaganda and political posters. They were used commonly for recruitment that inspired patriotism. The “Uncle Sam Wants You” posters were considered as one of the icons during this era. Alongside the recruitment posters, propaganda bills were also utilized to persuade, motivate and to convey powerful messages of nationalism. In fact, many of these printed materials have become powerful mediums for democratic change. An example of such idealism were the posters that appeared on the Berlin Wall in Germany.

Advertising Posters

Many of the print posters, especially those produced in the early years of poster printing, were made to advertise. Most common of these posters were utilized by shop owners selling food and basic services. There’s one for the butcher, the tailor, the barber, and even the blacksmith. They are commonly found hanging outside the shop. They sort of look like slates made of wood where the advertisement are painted on.

In the United States, posters basically started as commercial mediums that deliver a specific message. Not much décor and images to make them artistic. However, with the arrival of the circus, print posters have changed dramatically. The traveling circus brought with them colorful posters that delight the senses. These posters announced that the carnival is coming to town.

Movie/Film Posters

Movie studios back then realized the importance of colorful posters to help them entice the public to come and watch their films. To sell their movies, theaters were provided with movie posters which were displayed on the day that the movie is going to be shown. After 3 to 4 days, the same posters were taken down and sent via bus to another theater in another area. Today, all movie outfits have posters to advertise upcoming films. They’ve become so popular that many of the print posters of blockbuster movies have become collector items for many.

Comic Book Posters

These types of posters started their popularity during the 1960’s when comic books were abundant and much loved. Until the 1970’s and onwards, comic book posters were so popular that production were in abundance. These types of posters featured mostly well known characters, both famous and infamous. Until now, comic book posters are still very popular that some of the older posters are considered to be priceless by avid collectors.

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