Campaign: The 100 best posters of the century, 1999

A really fascinating book which considers, as the title says, the 100 best posters of the twentieth century. BUT, who decides what can be considered the ‘best’. The decisions were made by a wide range of people working for some of the most prolific current British advertising agencies.

Apparently a lot of time was required to produce a list of the ‘100 best’, but of particular interest to me, studying for a PhD in British WW2 posters, are the 5 posters from that period which are chosen, by Abram Games, who worked for the War Office. Also of interest was the fact that the First World War poster, Kitchener’s ‘Your Country Needs You‘, which is so well remembered, and has been so much imitated, at number 2!

When I first received this book, my friends and I spent an enjoyable time looking at those we remembered, and considering the reasoning behind which some of them had been picked. A very good spread of posters from the entire century, which considering the time it was written, does not focus too much upon the recent campaigns to the detriment of past campaigns. A few more historical comments would have been interesting, but that was not really the remit of this work!

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