New Brief: Poster

Local Universe, Projects, Visual Research

So with assessment week happening, I’ve finally started thinking about the many ideas I have for the new A3/A2 poster brief in the Local Universe Studio whereby we must use a particular print process. But in order to help me process these ideas, I need to have a look at existing posters that may inspire me and help me think about composition and techniques in a new way.

Whilst researching, it became apparent that 18th Century posters are somewhat hard to find due to the fact that the poster form was different to how we know it today and during that century, they were known to be in the form of bills and placards that advertised events etc. It wasn’t really until the end of the 19th century that the newfound use of lithography boomed across many cities in Europe and America.

With this came one of my personal favourite art movements of all time. Art Nouveau. Which is a given considering my personal obsession with natural forms thus the use of nature within design associated with Art Nouveau. Alphonse Mucha stands out to me within the movement in particular his piece The Arts: Dance (pictured below) which is one of a series whereby Mucha illustrates and characterises subjects within the arts.

Credit: "Alfons Mucha - 1898 - Dance" by Alfons Mucha - Art Renewal Center Museum, image 4417. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

Credit:  “Alfons Mucha – 1898 – Dance” by Alfons Mucha – Art Renewal Center Museum, image 4417. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

Although this piece isn’t strictly from the 20th century, having been made in 1898, I love the direct relation to Art Nouveau and the way Mucha captures the movement of the subject through his composition and the way her hair and dress flow. Almost as if moved by the wind. Not to mention the choice of warm reds and pinks, vibrant yet still very natural.

Moving further into poster design and following my interest of plants and nature, I decided to look at one of my favourite printmakers in relation to contemporary posters – Angie Lewin. Her one off charity poster (pictured below) was linocut but involves colour which is something in my own personal use of lino that I haven’t yet experimented with. I particularly love how detailed the poster as a whole is, yet how simple the individual shapes are that make up the image overall. I feel as though her poster captures the elements of nature within the space of the North Norfolk Coast which is important as she chose to communicate so much through imagery and not so much through typography. This may be worth considering when I go about designing my poster.


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