The History of the Poster

Starting in the early 19th century, the poster was one of the earliest forms of advertising. Meant to be read from a far, posters influenced the development of the typography because they required larger type. Posters quickly spread around the world and became a staple of the graphic design. 

Posters started out as an advertising and communicational tool. They were mainly used to promote events, quickly spread ideas to the public, and recruit soldiers. They were visually appealing because they were sued to attract the attention of people passing by. While the poster has been around for centuries, they are still quite popular today. While the idea behind the poster is still the same, advertising and communication, posters are being created every day for different reasons. 

The poster has seen a decline and resurgence over the years. Due to the threat of new ago technology and newer forms of advertising, the poster has shifted towards decoration and self-expression, as well as minimal advertising. There are many different themes of posters ranging from, Movie posters, Travel posters to Concert/ Music posters. 



The film industry created posters to promote and advertise movies. They were displayed inside or outside of a movie theater or in different shops. However, the film industry realized selling their pictures in vibrantly colored posters was another way to increase revenue. Viewers could and still can purchase a poster of their favorite movie to add to their collection or use as a decoration in their home. 




Used as a way to propose a travel destination, travel posters were a way to visually promote destinations people have never been to before. The Internet is the way most people look at travel destinations today. Beach scenes, cityscapes, and countryside sceneries are key travel icons used as home décor tools today. 




Back when posters were mainly used for advertisements, many concerts, especially rock concerts, would custom-design posters for the event. While many bands still do this, music posters are gaining popularity to showcase a favorite artist or music group. This type of poster can range from logos, album covers, classic group shots or photographic snapshots from concerts. 




A popular type of poster, Art posters gained in popularity when the new lithographic technique was developed by Jules Chéret. This development allowed more color to appear on the poster and became more visually appealing. Due to this, a great deal of artists began designing posters that now have been turned into art posters. Vintage advertising posters are making a resurgence, and regaining in popularity today.