Society has shaped the way posters are designed and produced. Over time, styles have changed in poster making due to various social factors such as War, unemployment and popular trends.
In the mid to late 1800s the artistic movement known as Art Nouveau began to emerge. It was this artistic style and time period that society saw a rise in popularity of both graphic design and posters. By the end of the century, the poster was considered a serious art form, in a period known as Lá Belle Époque. In 1891 Toulouse-Lautrec’s poster ‘Moulin Rouge’ was realised. Society was extremely impressed, and it gave status to the poster. It also started a craze of poster making across Europe, each country producing posters in uniquely identifiable styles. By 1900 Plakatstil was just beginning to emerge, society were bored of the ornate Art Nouveau and Lá Belle Époque styles and now were focusing on simple geometric design. This style prompted a new and more modern outlook on posters (International Poster Gallery, 2017).
World War One and World War Two dominated society and poster making in the early to mid 20th century. Propaganda posters were seen by those in power as a brilliant tool to provide striking visual messages to the public. They aimed to recruit soldiers and to invoke a nationalist spirit. T (Flask, 2018). Posters were once again used in the Soviet War and a main source of communication between those in power and the public. The US also used posters as a form of communication between government and the people. President Roosevelt, following the Great Depression introduced a Federal Art Project which produced posters as a means of public communication. Ideas in graphic art at the time were focused on idealistic domesticity, they were very optimistic in times of great unemployment and poverty (Dr Tanya Lokot, Weeks 6-9 Lecture Notes).
By the 1950’s America was in an economic boom, money was available to pump into graphic design. America had a new consumer society. Advertising had become a huge business and graphic designers in these ad agencies were considered vital to the advertising process. They moved on from the graphics of domesticity, artists were greatly influenced by the Bauhaus movement and poster style become much more minimalistic with a ‘less is more’ approach. Posters of this time period used vivid colours and playful motifs to gain attention from a wide range of audience.