Mediaforms change drastically throughout the years and can be shaped from differentsocial factors and how they’re used with technology. This essay will give aninsight into how posters have changed over time and how technology may haveshaped these changes.
I will talk about where posters originated, how they weredeveloped and when it was the best time for posters. Technology has changed howposters were produced over the years and I’ll talk about the technology that helpedshaped these changes.”Xylographyis the technical term for the relief printing from a raised surface thatoriginated in the Orient” (Meggs and Purvis, 1992, p. 60). “Typography is theterm for printing through the use of independent, movable, and reusable bits ofmetal, each of which has a raised letter form on its top” (Meggs and Purvis,1992, p. 60). This invention was believed to be the next important thing totake graphic design in the right direction.
Typography was the biggestinvention in the world at the time and it was about to change the world for thebetter. Before typography was invented, writing was the only thing that wasaround at the time and was used for basic communication, but, typography gavethe opportunity for a bigger production (Meggs and Purvis, 1992). Typographystarted to improve overtime and colour lithography created some vibrant workand now it got to a point where everyone started to have access to this and notonly the more privileged (Meggs and Purvis, 1992). The next development in printingposters was Lithography and was invented in the 1700s. Lithography works bydrawing an image on a flat stone surface with crayon, pen or a pencil. Thenwater is spread over the stone to soak the are apart from the actual imageitself.
A piece of paper is then placed over the drawn-out image and a printingpress is used in the process to transfer this image on to paper (Meggs andPurvis, 1992). At this time, there was a lot of talented artists that werepushing this way of printing and even firms started to be created but this was aprocess that would take some time, so you would need a lot of workers around.Posters back then would have a lot of similarities in the designs as a lot ofthe colours would be the same due to some colours having a batter look when printedand would more than likely stand out better than others. Posters were veryimportant to advertising and still are but back in the old days, they weremainly used to sell things and for entertainment purposes. A lot of advertsshared the exact same typography then due to being restricted to a certain amountof different font types as there was not a lot being created back then.Thenineteenth century was about to be the best year for graphic design andtechnology started to push its limits and the bigger needs for posters,illustrations and designs meant that there was also a big call for more workers(Meggs and Purvis, 1992). This new way of printing was having a massive impacton the world, with more and more books, posters and illustrations were beingproduced every day.
Postersrepresent as one of the best types of visual communication and they help inmany ways. They help influence humans make different choices (Guffey, 2015).Posters started becoming popular during the industrial revolution when tryingto attract people and when changes were needed to be made. You would first seethese types of posters in the big cities of the world (Guffey, 2015).
There wasa type of posters called the wood-type poster and in the eighteenth century,this type of printing was nothing compared to the printing ways of newspapersand books. In this time of printing posters, graphic designers were not asneeded as they are in our current time. The main person over this type ofprinting would go ahead and just choose a tock illustration to be used and hadmany sizes to choose from for the typography (Meggs and Purvis, 1992). These printing companies started to fallbehind as lithographic printing started to be the best way to go as this wouldgive better colours and a better quality to the posters. Back in the latenineteenth century is when posters were most popular and there would beclutters of them all over the city streets. They were there to promotedifferent events (Guffey, 2015). After some time, people started to look atposters to educate in classrooms and in public places. Posters were then usedfor propaganda in war times and this was the best way to communicate to peoplein a visual form.
These posters for example would promote people to join the USArmy when the war was happening, and this is one of the most popular posters asthey used the same person (Uncle Sam) to promote this message. Posters werevery important to the main countries fighting the war to remind people aboutdifferent problems that were happening while the war was on (Guffey, 2015). Forexample, when America first began their war journey, posters were the mainsource of visual communication and was used for propaganda. They were used tobring people together and let them know what was happening, a number as big as3000 posters were created in America (Rider, 1983). When World War 2 began, abigger number of posters were released due to technology changing overtime(Rider, 1983). Since the war was ongoing, there would be a struggle to get thebasic goods of the world and posters helped promote the struggle of foodrationing and different goods (Rider, 1983). Posters started to change fromWorld War 1 to World War 2 as posters from the first war tried to make peoplefeel guilty and would show images of homeless women and children and would giveoff an emotional connection (Rider, 1983). Moving on to the second world war,posters started to ease up on those type of images.
The government started totake control of the posters and would then release posters relating togovernment needs. After a certain amount of time, different forms of mediumsstarted to make their way up in the world, so the world war propaganda startedto fall apart (Rider, 193). Asthe ever-changing development of technology in the world, this meant thatposters started to be produced faster and in bigger bulks (Guffey, 2015).Digital was the biggest change and has helped significantly. The biggestaddition was the computer as this started to bring out graphic designers, butthe computer now also gave non-trained designers to learn (Guffey, 2015). Withthe modern technology that the world was being introduced to, it helped spreadposters around the world faster and better than before as we could now sendthese posters digitally and print them etc. Many innovative programs were beingreleased for computers just for the purpose of design and printing. Programslike Photoshop, Illustration and InDesign really started to push what graphicdesigners could do in this day and age.
It had a bigger demand for jobs and abigger demand for posters and designs in general. Graphic design is everywhereyou look and that has not changed today. The digital era was coming into playand helping create the world we live in today. You see posters and billboardswith these big massive designs everywhere you go and that’s all down to thedigital ways of design and printing. Inconclusion, Posters was the most popular type of visual form in its very earlyyears as they were very creative and gave an extra voice to communities allaround the world for multiple reasons. It’s also safe to say that posterschanged over years due to different technology having a significant impact.
Asthe technology changed, the posters changed how they looked. There was acertain style that posters had for every time that it changed. Colour’s andtypography changed and even just the style of the composition itself.
In eachcountry, they were used in diverse ways and had their own styles throughout theyear, but they changed how they were made over the years. I think it’s safe tosay that printing and how posters have been designed have changed massively.From block printing to moveable typography and now we’re on to the digital timeand it has changed everything for the better. It has helped reproduce at afaster rate and it’s easier to send work around the world.