Posters and Flyers:
At the start of this project is a research section, dedicated to discovering more about the history of posters. The research point specified finding out more about ‘your own particular area of interest’.
Initially the idea of finding out about my ‘own are of particular interest’ seemed daunting. I didn’t feel like I had a good idea about poster history and therefore how could I know what my area of interest was. The course information stated “there are many collections (of posters) in books in museums and galleries and on the internet”. So it seemed like a good place to start generally would be searching galleries/museums on-line collections for posters.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A has an searchable on-line collection, and having visited before I knew there was a good chance of them having a range of posters to analyse. I searched for posters and got a vast list of posters..
The V&A site allows you to look at search results by country so I selected the UK as a category. I found that most of their UK Posters were themed around politics, or war efforts (see link below):
This isn’t an area of particular interest so I started to look within a different Museums collection. This time I chose the Museum of London, I hoped this would provide some different styles of poster that I might be interested in:
I started to find some posters that appealed, particularly related to transport (not because I like trains or cars, but because I like the style of the poster):
I came across a lot of posters which relied heavily on slab serifs or typography to convey their meaning. These were of interest, as something I’d taken a shine to when researching typography in a previous part of the course. Most of these posters were dated around 1874-1890. It’s worth noting they all use black as the dominant or single colour for printing with the paper adding colour to the design. I mention this purely because the exercise within this project requires use of only black and white for printing:
The exception to the black and white rule:
I found these interesting but knew there were other design styles I liked but didn’t have a name for. I came across the work of Victor Galbraith however when looking at posters from the London Transport Museum which moved me into looking into Mid Century Modern designs:
Victor Galbraith – London Transport Museum:
Victor Galbraith was a graphic designer who lived and worked in London during the 1950s to 1960s. Most of that time he produced work for London Transport, namely 20 posters. These posters have an appealing boldness and clarity to them. Each element is simple and clean and allows the information/message of each poster to be clearly conveyed:
I’m particularly fond of the design above, the folds of the fish work like a concertina fold, and lead the eye along the information. The first also reminds me of a wave in the sea, and I like the clever use of the station symbol for the eye of the fish. It’s a four colour image that manages to feel lively and dynamic.
I also like the humour conveyed in his posters, see the image above. It managed to make light of the rush hour, and encourage a new way of thinking.
Harry O’ Diamond was a graphic designer/illustrator of the same time period as Victor Galbraith. I came across him on pinterest, he has a more whimsical style than Galbraith but again is typical of Mid Century Modern design. I could only find a few examples of his work and not much biographical information:
Strictly speaking the images above aren’t posters, they’re covers for magazines, but they show the kind of style I’m interested in.
I found an interesting blog on Mid Century Modern design where someone has collecting lots of examples of design of that ilk:
Even a book on the subject (unfortunately won’t be buying it soon..):
Final note on research, is a place called the ‘International Poster Gallery’, based in Boston (USA). Obviously not a gallery I can visit easily but the website had a handy categorisation/history of posters in these categories; Vintage French Posters, Vintage Italian Posters, Soviet Posters & Swiss Posters.
Now on to the exercise…