poster design

A Traveling Retroprospectus of Poster-Like Objects

A Traveling Retroprospectus of Poster-Like Objects

It’s time once again to ooh and ahh at the lovely posters that designers hath made. Yes, the National Poster Retroprospectus is here. Well, maybe not where you are, but it is worming its way around the country. No word on just how many of the posters were fabricated simply to fish for such acclaim, but does that even matter? They’ve been made, and now they’re being celebrated. In all, there will be 300 posters on display crafted by luminary artists and designers. (Who do you consider the most famous poster designer? Maybe Shepard Fairey?) Here are some of the posters that will be on display at the NPR.

Bright Lights! Big City! Poster Printing!

Bright Lights! Big City! Poster Printing!

The intricacies of campaigning on Broadway… Poster design is a complicated process, and the higher the stakes, the more complicated it gets. Sometimes, a client simply needs one great image for a short-run print campaign that's not going to involve any other elements. Other times – whew! – things get a bit more serious. For example… The New York Times recently published an article on the process of designing a poster for a Broadway show. They spoke to Drew Hodges, chief exec over at SpotCo. Entertainment Advertising (recently in the news for their racy portrayal of Miss Piggy). SpotCo. created the print ad for a new run of the famous musical, La Cage Aux Folles, on Broadway. The criteria for the poster? Where to begin…. It had to be funny and sexy, but not just funny or just sexy, because viewers have to get a strong sense of all the things that the musical is about. It also couldn't be […]

On Labor Day, Hug a Union Printer

On Labor Day, Hug a Union Printer

Great moments in printing history. Ahh, there's nothing like a four-day week. But did you know that Labor Day got its start thanks to union printers? It's true. Way back in 1872. The Toronto Typographical Union went on strike to demand a 9-hour workday and Sundays off. The movement garnered massive public support. Unfortunately, at the time, unions were still illegal in Canada, and many of the strike organizers were arrested. It seemed like a grim day for the labor movement. However, the arrests led to tons of protests across Canada, and the Canadian government finally had to agree to abolish its anti-union laws. To celebrate, Canadians began to take a day off for labor union parades. In 1882, American labor leaders brought the celebration to the U.S., and it stuck (the holiday, at least, if not the celebration of unionized labor). So there you have it. The beginning of union printing also led to the birth of one of […]

“Singing Songs and Carrying Signs”

“Singing Songs and Carrying Signs”

Music + Politics = Cool Posters Politics and music have always had a close relationship. Even hundreds of years ago, music was used as a tool by emperors and conquerors to whip the populace up into a frenzy of patriotism, or even to intimidate an enemy force during war. In the context of more modern times, folk music has been an important part of the Civil Rights movement, and of union politics. Many songs have been written and sung and many instruments jammed upon during strike actions to buoy up spirits on the picket line. Today, politicians select campaign songs to express themselves, and rock stars use their influence to get their fans thinking politically. It's at this point when another form comes into play, connecting music and politics through the art of poster printing and design. Poster printing is used heavily in the promotion of both election campaigns and concerts, but it's particularly interesting to see what happens when […]

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