The History of the Poster This essay discusses the history of the poster and where it originated from. It talks about two posters in particular which have double meanings

Essay by brownfA+, February 2004

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The History of the Poster

For this essay I have researched the history of the poster and chosen two posters in particular which interest me, which I have compared.

If you look the term "poster" up in the dictionary you will find the meaning "large picture displayed in a public place". The word "poster" was originally used in 1838 in England. Back then it referred to a "printed sheet of paper that combined test and illustration". They were used for the purpose of advertisement or in announcement. At first they were simple designs but over time artists became more ambitious as they strove to become recognised.

Nowadays posters are used for decorative purposes. A lot of the time there is no text only the pictorial element. Although posters are now mostly used for advertisement, occasionally there is genuine poster art created solely for pleasure to look at. Most posters use photographs now rather than the traditional method.

Around 1845 the mass production of posters came into play which was done by a power press and could print up to 10,000 sheets of paper an hour by the use of colour lithography. This was a process in which a greasy crayon was used to draw on a piece of limestone, then the lines would attract and hold an oily or greasy ink when the stone was wet. This could then be reproduced on a suitable piece of paper when rolled onto the stone.

A man called Jules Cheret was one artist to take advantage of this process. He was working in England when he first saw the American circus design posters, which were lively, and bright posters that were crudely designed and garishly coloured. Jules Cheret was persistent on bringing his fellow designers into thinking alike, the same as him. By...