The poster : a visual history / edited by Gill Saunders and Margaret Timmers.

by Saunders, Gill [editor.]Looking glass; Timmers, Margaret [editor.]Looking glass; Victoria and Albert Museum [issuing body.]Looking glass.

Publisher: London ; Thames & Hudson ; 2020.Description: 303 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 31 cm.ISBN: 9780500480380.Subject(s): Victoria and Albert MuseumLooking glass | Posters -- HistoryLooking glass | Posters -- England -- LondonNote: Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-297) and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Even in the digital age, the printed poster has continued to be one of the most influential and well-loved ways of informing and entertaining audiences. A powerful means of mass communication, posters are an invaluable resource for understanding the time periods in which they were produced and distributed and have often played key roles in shaping society.Organized into seven thematic chapters, The Poster brings together more than 300 examples that offer a comprehensive history of the poster as a medium that has been used to share, sell, or incite political and social change. The text traces the poster through innovations in design, illustration, typography, and printing, as well as movements in art, including Art Nouveau, modernism, Art Deco, psychedelia, and punk.Featuring works by A. M. Cassandre, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, and Peter Gee, and many more, this book is an essential resource for graphic designers, illustrators, and anyone interested in social and political history.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-297) and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This gratifyingly massive compendium of poster art draws upon the vast collections of the Word & Image Dept. at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, a 13,000-item repository presciently begun in 1864 and now global in scope. It's sensibly arranged around seven thematic sections--sport, show business, commerce, politics, travel, art, and digital posters--each introduced by brief but piquant scholarship expounding on the evolution of the forms within each divergent genre. Beautifully illustrated, it features works by masters of graphic and fine art, some renowned (Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley), others more obscure. Few of these posters ever see a V&A exhibit case, so it's a rare treat to see them presented in one volume. Anglophiles will love the British tilt of what's on view, such as the witty "My Goodness, My Guinness" lithos, and striking London Transport ads. A popular mania for collecting posters began very early, on the Continent in the 19th century, represented here by broadsheets epitomizing the look of the Belle Époque. Helpful glossaries of style and printing lexicon, keyed to specific posters, round out what is a fun, instructive tour of this singular 2-D art form. VERDICT Colorful and comprehensive, an entertaining visual history with something for everyone.--Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L.


Though one can find a ton of books on the poster, this new one is among the finest. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has perhaps the world's deepest collection of the poster as a design artifact, as an art artifact, and as a cultural/sociological artifact. This book is grounded in the museum's superb collection. Not only does the publisher do an admirable job of book production, but the amply illustrated volume highlights some posters (and designers) not popularly known. Saunders and Timmers (both senior curators at the V & A) spurned a chronological structure in favor of a nesting chronology inside a subject-based breakdown. Hence, one gets to see how entertainment, as a category, evolved through posters; how protest evolved visually; how advertising developed increasingly sharp messaging. All this is framed by an introductory essay by Saunders, who succinctly puts the poster in context, explains its eruption onto the streets in the mid-19th century, and elaborates on the socioeconomic factors that laid the groundwork for that ascension. This reviewer knows of no book more useful for a basic education on the poster. Summing Up: Essential. All readers. --Steven Skaggs, University of Louisville

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Gill Saunders is Senior Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the V&A. She is the author of Vintage Travel Posters: A Journey to the Sea in 30 Posters.

Margaret Timmers is the former Senior Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the V&A. She is the editor of Impressions of the Twentieth Century and The Power of the Poster.

Catherine Flood is a Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the V&A.

Zorian Clayton is a Curator of Prints in the Word & Image Department of the V&A.