When done well, posters can persuade us to buy a pen, observe social norms or fly to a faraway land. They look great too. Put them on your walls.
Good graphic design can transform advertising into an artform. At their best, great campaigns use deft illustration or artfully rendered ideas to create idealised, soft-edged and simplified versions of the world. They pique our interest with promises and appeal to our desires: for order, exploration, ideas or excitement.
The pleasing shapes in these posters, their tight typography and eye-catching colours, come together to raise awareness – of an exhibition, perhaps, or about consumer electronics – but they can simultaneously cause us to raise an eyebrow, crack a smile or start making plans.
Who wouldn’t want to hop on a flight to Rome, Greece, Geneva, or even Kandersteg after taking in the glowing representations of these pretty postwar posters? Here’s our paean to the alchemy of advertising done well.