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The History of Posters

The History of Posters

The poster in the age of the Internet and LED advertising is still not irrelevant. The posters are different - pin-up girls, calls for a healthy lifestyle, a poster with the presentation of a best-selling novel, an absolutely stunning advertisement for a new blockbuster, an agitation with calls to rise up to fight for a just cause. 

It is curious where the poster genre came from and what metamorphoses it has undergone since its emergence. So, it was the 16th century. Book printing was developing in Europe, and engraving became popular. Certainly, both of these phenomena could not help but start using them for personal enrichment purposes. This is how the first playbills and printed advertisements appeared.

Since the second half of the XIX century, the poster can already be spoken of as a genre of painting, which uniquely combines graphics and text, has a composition and other attributes of a pictorial artwork. At that time, monochrome lithographs whose authors were book illustrators appeared on Parisian streets. These posters, whose function was to announce the release of new books, usually featured illustrations from the book, supplemented by text. Of course, these promotional crafts don't claim to be anything yet, but a start has been made.

The official progenitor of the poster genre, Jules Chéret, began his career in the workshop of an engraver-lithographer where he served as an apprentice. Later, Chéré himself began to print gigantic, by the standards of the XIX century, ads advertising Parisian dance establishments and cafes. It is to Shere that belongs the honor of developing the solutions that formed the basis of the genre. He enlarged the area of the sheet, outlined the compositional framework (large figures are foregrounded and highlighted). He turned color into an integral part of composition, and, in the poster genre, with Cheré's suggestion, color is subordinate to lines, not the other way around, as in painting. The color itself is simplistic, it's quite flat, with no hues or halftones.

The genre of poster found a second breath when France "gave birth" to Impressionism. At the end of the 19th century, the graphic artist Pierre Bonnard produced the France-Champagne poster, which clearly traces the canons set by Chéret and the specificity inherent in the works of the Impressionists. This lithograph marked the specific style of posters that filled the cities at that time and became an essential part of the urban landscape. Over time, the poster changed, but the basic canons - the supremacy, the dominance of line over color, the spatial arrangement of elements, "playing with fonts", composition - remained unchanged. By the 1890s, poster art was widespread in various parts of Europe, advertising everything from bicycles to bullfights. Many of the posters had great artistic merit. These include posters advertising consumer goods and entertainment, as well as events such as World's Fairs and Colonial Fairs.

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