Five Facts About: Past Popular Posters

29. 06. 2016

The history of posters dates back to 1880s, when the lithographic boom occurred. The new 3-color method of printing finally gave artists the opportunity to release their work to the masses by creating any color by combining red, yellow and blue. Most  importantly, it could be done with at a low expense.


Since the 80s, the poster has gone through a wild process of transformation. It has seen the influence of pop art, Bauhaus, art deco, postmodernism, and it has even served as a source of propaganda during world wars. Even though posters are no longer one of the main sources of mediums for communication today, thousands of posters are still created for various reasons.

The 21st century poster is usually a medium of advertisement. It can be an invitation to an event, or it can simply be an abstract illustration from a young artist.


Here are five facts behind some of the most famous posters in history:

1. In 1939, most of the English population feared that the Germans would conquer their land. In search of a way to keep the population calm and positive, the British government released a series of posters: Keep Calm & Carry on. It’s hard to believe these posters were not very popular during the war and only became appreciated recently when the collection was rediscovered.

2. The famous photo of Albert Einstein, , which later on became an extremely popular poster didn’t look anything like it does that initially. Arthur Sasse captured the photo in the back seat of a car on the way back from an event at Princeton University. Albert Einstein was extremely tired that day and didn’t want to pose, he even screamed at the photographer, but afterwards he stuck out his tongue and made a perfect shot. The initial photo wasn’t as small and it contained a lot of background action, but because Albert liked it so much, he cut just his face and sent it in letters to his friends.

3. 3D posters became popular only in the early 90s after a collaboration between an artist and a programmer. They created a 3D image based on artistic techniques and advanced 3D software. Since then, the 3D posters have spread massively and became popular among  people who are very keen of visual illusions.

4. Even though today most of people think “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” is a digitally manipulated photo, it’s 100% spontaneous photo. Another interesting fact about the photo is that the artist who took it was listed unknown for many years. The shot has even been part of a private investigation where it has been attributed, most frequently, to Charles C. Ebbets and Lewis Hine. But today, the status of the photograph has been listed back as unknown.

5. Alberto Korda took the famous photo of Che Guevara in 1960, while Fitzpatrick created the 2 colors portrait in 1968 This piece of art is considered to be 1 of 10 most iconic images in the whole world, together with Mona Lisa, Starry Night, and the Last Supper.


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