How good were posters in the olden days? Instead of nowadays where anyone with a pair of daft glasses and a macbook can knock up an ‘ad’ in half an hour, back in the early 20th century posters used to advertise everything from world cruises to toothpaste were made by actual artists. Of particular interest is the ‘jazz age’ period in between the two world wars when futuristic geometric imagery was all the rage dispensing with all that flowery belle epoque stuff that had come prior to the sobering effects of World War One.
We recently made some posters for the Massimo exhibition we did in London last January, several of which had an Art Deco vibe (the era was definitely an influence on CP Company) and is perhaps why no sooner had we put them up than they were appropriated by several scallywags. I was particularly taken with an image on one of them of a sports-car which drove me (no pun intended) to look into the world of Art Deco posters and so I got this appropriately titled book by Thames & Hudson and collector William Crouse.
Featuring over 300 examples of the greatest (and rarest) examples from this artistic era the book provides an overwhelmingly impressive array of stunning posters alongside informative, in depth captions about the artists and the products being promoted. Though I love pretty much everything featured in this comprehensive book I think my favourite has to be the ads for Italian cigarette paper brand ‘Modiano’ that look like they were taken directly off the set of Metropolis or a Weimar republican pub wall. ‘The Art Deco Poster’ serves as a welcome reminder that art is often at it’s most beautiful and powerful when being used to tell or even sell us something.
Get your copy here.