People have been using posters to advertise ideas since time immemorial. Or at the very least, since people started writing on big pieces of paper to let everyone know what they were thinking. In the poster’s long history, there have been four major uses for it. These are the (1) propaganda posters, (2) commercial posters, (3) event posters, and the (4) educational posters.
The first kind, the propaganda poster is used to rally people towards a political idea such as in Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” (and J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!”) which espoused feminism, and JM Flagg’s nationalistic Uncle Sam recruitment poster; or to show support for a leader like the popular “Hope” poster that featured Barack Obama.
Commercial posters are also frequently seen all over. These are used to sell consumer products. The entertainment industry is also particularly known for using posters to invite people to watch their movies, or buy records, and books. Artists like Milton Glaser (Brooklyn Brewery ads) and Saul Bass (various movie posters) are famous for creating advertising posters.
Posters are also used for advertising concerts, plays, or parties -or events. The first Woodstock Music Festival in Bethel, New York was publicized with a decorative and almost Art Nouveau-like design as well as the text for wrong location – the festival was originally intended to play in Wallkill, New York but was disallowed when time came.
Educational posters, on the other hand, are posters used as learning tools. Many classrooms will have posters the solar system in order to teach children the name of planets. It’s also common to find illustrations of the human anatomy and in clinics.
There are, of course, many other types of posters like the fan poster, the cheesecake poster or the motivational poster. One thing all of these have in common, however, is the fact that they are basically large-format printed materials that “illustrate” an idea through words or images.
While poster artists like Alphonse Mucha and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec once had to paint their images and then use fairly traditional printing methods to reproduce their posters back then, technology has come along way since. Once the design is finished, one can enlist the services of a digital print company to make the posters in a quicker manner.. It’s even become possible for someone to use online printing company to produce posters for any needs, making a trip to the printer’s frivolous and unnecessary.