History Reviewer

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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The Art of Persuasion: Poster Design from 1896 through 2008

Exhibition: August 25 – December 13, 2009
Exhibition Lecture: 7:00 pm on Thrusday, October 8

The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents The Art of Persuasion: Poster Design from 1896 through 2008, on display from August 25th through December 13th, 2009.

The Art of Persuasion surveys a century of development in the visual language of posters. Presented in three distinct thematic groups—Pleasure & Leisure, Politics & Propaganda, and Commercial Advertising, this broad selection of posters highlights transformations in the art, culture, and technology of posters. Disseminating vital information through use of diverse visual strategies, poster artists engage the viewer to sell ideas and products.

Many of the posters in the exhibition are widely recognized and have been collected for their historic and cultural significance as well as their aesthetic qualities. Also included are posters identified as emerging landmarks in this ever evolving medium. Selections were drawn from UMBC’s Special Collections as well as public and private collections.

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