Posters : a global history / Elizabeth E. Guffey.

by Guffey, Elizabeth E [author.]Looking glass.

Publisher: London, England : Reaktion Books, 2015.Description: 319 pages : illustrations (colour and black and white) ; 25 cm.ISBN: 178023371X; 9781780233710.Subject(s): Posters -- HistoryLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary: In 'Posters: A global history' Elizabeth Guffey tells the story of this ephemeral art form, from its birth in the nineteenth century to its place in contemporary culture. She argues that even among today's burgeoning digital media, few forms of graphic design can rival posters for their tangibility and sheer spatial presence. From London to Ramallah, Los Angeles to Lagos, posters provide new opportunities to communicate across public spaces that are themselves increasingly transformed by digital media. This book re-examines the roots of the poster, charting its rise from the revolutionary lithographs that papered nineteenth-century London and Paris to twentieth-century works of propaganda, advertising, pop culture and protest. It considers the lives of posters: where and why posters were made, and why and how they endured. It examines posters from today's world, including posters of Palestinian martyrs and West African examples describing voodoo activities, and offers a rich variety of both familiar and lesser-known examples from the Soviet Union, China, Eastern and Western Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. Beautifully illustrated, Posters provides a fresh history of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century poster as well as revealing insights into the designs and creative practices of our twenty-first-century world.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

From band posters stapled to telephone poles to the advertisements hanging at bus shelters to the inspirational prints that adorn office walls, posters surround us everywhere--but do we know how they began? Telling the story of this ephemeral art form, Elizabeth E. Guffey reexamines the poster's roots in the nineteenth century and explores the relevance they still possess in the age of digital media. Even in our world of social media and electronic devices, she argues, few forms of graphic design can rival posters for sheer spatial presence, and they provide new opportunities to communicate across public spaces in cities around the globe.

Guffey charts the rise of the poster from the revolutionary lithographs that papered nineteenth-century London and Paris to twentieth-century works of propaganda, advertising, pop culture, and protest. Examining contemporary examples, she discusses Palestinian martyr posters and West African posters that describe voodoo activities or Internet con men, stopping along the way to uncover a rich variety of posters from the Soviet Union, China, the United States, and more. Featuring 150 stunning images, this illuminating book delivers a fresh look at the poster and offers revealing insights into the designs and practices of our twenty-first-century world.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

In 'Posters: A global history' Elizabeth Guffey tells the story of this ephemeral art form, from its birth in the nineteenth century to its place in contemporary culture. She argues that even among today's burgeoning digital media, few forms of graphic design can rival posters for their tangibility and sheer spatial presence. From London to Ramallah, Los Angeles to Lagos, posters provide new opportunities to communicate across public spaces that are themselves increasingly transformed by digital media. This book re-examines the roots of the poster, charting its rise from the revolutionary lithographs that papered nineteenth-century London and Paris to twentieth-century works of propaganda, advertising, pop culture and protest. It considers the lives of posters: where and why posters were made, and why and how they endured. It examines posters from today's world, including posters of Palestinian martyrs and West African examples describing voodoo activities, and offers a rich variety of both familiar and lesser-known examples from the Soviet Union, China, Eastern and Western Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. Beautifully illustrated, Posters provides a fresh history of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century poster as well as revealing insights into the designs and creative practices of our twenty-first-century world.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This is a canonical history of posters and much more. Guffey (SUNY, Purchase) emphasizes the social life of posters--how they function in specific spaces and how large public audiences use them. To this end, well-chosen photographs from 1844 to the present reveal posters in their everyday settings. Posters used at rallies, as street advertisements, or as backdrops in cafes and workshops bring an added focus to this volume replete with discussion of important graphic design. The book highlights non-Western historical examples; 19th-century Indian advertising and calendar posters stand out. It likewise examines contemporary global poster movements. West African street news posters, Bollywood film, and Palestinian martyr posters are analyzed in terms of their cultural significance and digital production processes. The author offers lengthy case studies of prominent graphic imagery such as April Greiman's "breakthrough" work on the Macintosh computer, images of Che Guevara, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution's ubiquitous renderings of Mao Zedong. Occasional wordiness distracts--a 1974 feminist poster critiques pink, a "furtively fussy and feminine colour." The book accomplishes its invaluable objectives: it argues that as digital dialogs broaden posters remain relevant, and it demonstrates that posters provide serious research topics in visual cultural history. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. --Ann Schoenfeld, Pratt Institute

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Elizabeth E. Guffey is professor of art and design history at Purchase College, State University of New York, and founding editor of the Journal of Design and Culture . She is the author of Retro: The Culture of Revival , also published by Reaktion Books.

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