We spoke about the first media star and beginning poster advertising two weeks ago.

Poster advertising should become a lot more important after the invention of the lithography by the German Alois Senefelder in the end of the 18th century. The notion lithography stems from the Greek words “lithos” (stone) and “graphein” (to write). So instead of cutting wood the artists cuts the image in stone.

The images were finer and much more detailed than woodcut. During my research I found that lithography was even used for commercial maps in the 19th century.

One of the pioneers of colour lithography was the French painter Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec. In the 1890ies he began to produce the famous posters of the Moulin Rouge.

And, with this technique which was used until the 1950ies the victory march of posters began.


Of course we know that fashion changes or like famous Coco Chanel put it: “Fashion changes, style lasts forever”.

Advertising reflects the zeitgeist. The posters depict the hunger for life of the roaring 20ies, the crudeness of the years of war, the attempt to restore “the old order of the good old times” etc.

I collected posters for each decade between 1920ies and 1980ies. As an example I used my favourite article: shoes. What else?

Please click on the image for the Slide Show

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The third Millennium

Despite social media and video clips the posters are still very much alive. The technique shifted from lithography to digital print but consumers of luxury articles are still addressed by posters in the streets.

Bally Autumn Winter 2015

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