The Poster

A Visual History


A vibrant visual history of one of the most powerful, memorable and effective means of mass communication: the poster.


ISBN: 9780500480380 Category:

Gill Saunders, Margaret Timmers, Catherine Flood, Zorian Clayton


Even in the digital age, the printed poster retains an important, much-loved role in connecting with audiences in a way that both entertains and informs. The V&A was one of the first museums to start collecting posters and to recognize the importance of doing so. Far from ephemeral, posters are both a representation of the time in which they were produced and distributed and, in many instances, have shaped the societies in which they were seen. The story of the poster is both one of changing styles and new innovations in design, illustration and printing, and a visually compelling social history.

The Poster brings together over 300 examples that tell a comprehensive visual history of poster design and the various ways the poster has been used to tell, to sell, to charm and to spur on change. Organized into seven thematic chapters that tell the story of the poster as a medium, each poster is accompanied by a concise commentary that explains the work in terms of its design, printing, content, message and the commercial, social or political impact it may have had.

Featuring works by the masters of poster design that have become popular and highly collectible classics, charting the ebb and flow of styles such as Art Nouveau, Modernism, Art Deco, Psychedelia and Punk and featuring the nostalgic glow of muchloved brands as well as posters that shook and changed the world, The Poster will be an essential visual resource for graphic designers and illustrators – a reference for anyone with an interest in collecting posters and an engaging design and social history for all who appreciate this most popular of art forms.

Additional information

Weight 2047 g
Dimensions 25.1 x 30.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 26 March 2020
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Dimensions 25.1 x 30.7 cm
Weight 2047 g


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Gill Saunders is Senior Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum and an honorary member of the Printmakers Council.