Research: My particular poster interests

Posters have a long and rich history documenting everything from boxing matches to Bollywood films, the Soviet Revolution to punk, encouraging young men to join the army to persuading women to buy bras. There are many collections in books in museums and galleries and on the internet. Find out more about your own particular areas of interest.

Make notes in your learning log.

This is an enormous subject

The first collection I looked at was the V&A (1):

The V&A collects posters on an international scale, with over 10,000 objects in the Prints and Drawings Department, and significant holdings in other departments. The Museum has had an active collecting policy throughout the twentieth century and now holds the national collection.

According to information on the V&A site

The earliest posters or playbills measured about 17.5 x 7.5 cms (7″ x 3″). We know that some were printed by 1587

Larger posters began to appear in London influenced by the French theatre around 1672. In the 19th C posters started to appear for circuses. Thee were printed on the new letterpresses.





By the end of the century theatres started to use coloured posters. These were influenced by the french poster artists, Chèret and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.

I love this poster. I love the colours and the simplicity of it. I like the way the entire poster is filled with colour. I have collected theatre programmes all my life. I love the theatre and theatre posters. But I also like film posters. Our local cinema in France have a great collection of recent film posters. The cinema was taken over about three years ago by a group of young cinema enthusiasts.

There are some wonderful film posters on this site(3) of all the well known films. Some I remember and some I don’t. I don’t remember this one but I thought it really showed the film content in a poster. Very clever design  think.


World Wars at the beginning of the 20th century affected the production of letterpress posters. By the middle of this century typographical posters became the most common.

In the ’60s poster art came into its own influenced by the Pop Art movement. Then in the ’70s artists began to experiment with photographs and photo montage on posters. Today posters are considered part of the marketing process for productions. But I was sad to read this on the V&A site:

Posters may no longer be the major form of theatre advertising but they are still an essential part of any marketing strategy for a production. Their design is probably harder to get right now than it was over 400  years ago, when the earliest posters hit the posts.

There is an amazing Poster Study Guide on the V&A site (2)

The next poster collection I looked as was the Deutsches Historisches Museum(4).

The first historical museum poster collection I looked at was that held in he German Historical Museum. This was a little scary with so many political type posters. This is the ‘raison d’être’ for this museum. I realised very quickly that I do not like these type of posters. Inciting people to support various political actives, or indeed politicians, makes me uneasy. However there were a couple in the image displays which I found amusing.

This first one is so alien to my ideas as a feminist principles

My Pride and the secret of my housewifely success. Is the GASCOOKER!!!!


I loved the colours of this one.






But I realise I find the old posters very static. I found myself gravitating towards modern rock and pop posters. This site (5) has some great examples.









  1. Posters – Victoria and Albert Museum. 2017. Posters – Victoria and Albert Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 07 August 2017].
  2. Posters Study Guide – Victoria and Albert Museum. 2017. Posters Study Guide – Victoria and Albert Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 07 August 2017].
  3. Movie Poster Art Gallery: Catalogue Page 1.. 2017. Movie Poster Art Gallery: Catalogue Page 1.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  4. Deutsches Historisches Museum: Poster Collection. 2017. Deutsches Historisches Museum: Poster Collection. [ONLINE] Available at:
  5. Vintage original music and rock posters for sale, Catalogue Page 1.. 2017. Vintage original music and rock posters for sale, Catalogue Page 1.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].
  6. graphicdesign. 2017. The Danish Museum of design – graphicdesign. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 09 August 2017].

Assignment 3 Diary: Visual Language

31 October 2016

Just read a lovely interview/tribute to John Berger on his 90th Birthday.

1 november 2016

Had my feedback on assignment 2. Am happy that I seem to be making some progress even though it does not feel like it at times…

My knowledge of Graphic Designers is very poor so I looked up this web site

Mark Wallinger created the London Underground Labyrinth here.

6 November 2016

Am trying to educate myself on present day designers. Am loving the journey and beginning to get a feel for what appeals to me. I am writing up my research.

Took some more road signs today. Will make a collage of them.

7 November 2016

The ‘designer discovery’ continues.

Have just watched:

as advised by my tutor. I found it really inspiring.

8 November 2016

American election day… The less said about that the better.

I watched the YouTube video of Hannah Hoch advised by my tutor

This was especial interesting because of the time when Hoch was working. She was creating these collages in the 1920s which must have put her way outside the mainstream of the other artists, especially female artists.

I wish I had seen this exhibition.

May 1968: A Graphic Uprising

I was around in 1968 and remember the protests very well. I was in Paris one night and got caught up in one of the student protests. The riot police were especially violent. The students were chanting and throwing fruit and vegetables in the street. But they were not behaving violently. I had been to Paris with my parents and driving down the Champs Elysee in a taxi the whole street came to a halt and our taxi driver leapt out. We leapt out with him – Charles deGaulle was passing in a cavalcade. This was a couple of years before 1968. When the students protested I understood exactly why…

Pinterest have a big collection of these posters here.

9 november 2016

Oh my God Trump is President of the United States. How did that happen while I slept….

Back to work is the only cure…

11 november 2016

Today is a holiday in France to think about the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month.

I spent the day in Aix yesterday as we had business to do there. I used the time to collect some brochures. Unfortunately just as I grabbed my Fuji camera which I use for street photography. Alas it refused to open…. I had to leave it behind. I eventually sorted the problem around midnight last night. I collected a couple of ‘props’ for my coming assignments. One really interesting little thing I found was a tiny box (7.5 x6.4cm) containing cards showing sign language. I thought this was a really good place to start work on “Signs & Symbols”.

20 november 2016

Although I have not written in my diary here I have been working away on my assignment 3 exercises. I have also been suffering with a skin problem which has kept me busy….

This morning I completed a page of thumbnails in my log book for the bulb exercise. I decided to do this before I attacked the exercise on the computer to produce my 20 designs. I wanted to see how I felt about the designs before I got bogged down in software.

Yesterday I managed to do my Danger/here symbol somewhat to my satisfaction.

So now it is off to do  battle with the software for the bulb exercise.

23 november 2016

It took me a couple of days to complete the light bulb designs. I am a little sorry I did not use InDesign for some of them as the edges of rectangles in Photoshop are not so sharp. Now it is on to colour.

I like this simple display and definition of colour from this site


1 December 2016

It has taken me days on end to read up about colour and to create my own log colour profiles. It is done now and I move on to “Working with colour“. I have some photos of the cities mentioned I will look for these and see if I can create Modrian type representations…

2 Decmber 2016

I read up about swatches in my CC for Dummies. My friend had given me a very brief introduction before I left Ireland but I had totally forgotten how to do anything with swatches. I wanted to use the colours from my Madrid image to create ‘new’ swatches. Because these were colours contained in a reflection they were not ‘pure’. This gave a rather bizarre effect which I quite liked. I made the buildings look more like thy were made of blocks. With this image creation I had not paid enough attention to the final size of the required image. This meantI had to import it into Photoshop and crop it.

I also learned to play around with the opacity of my newly created swatches until I was reasonably satisfied with the end result. However I do feel that it is a little dull.

This encouraged me to look for a really bright image of Marseille on which to base my abstract. I was happy with the one I found. I tried the 3-D effect with the placemat. I am not sure if it looks like a placemat but in abstract that is less important. I also made two 3-D shaped boxes to put on the table to represent the oil and salt that were in the original image. I think the end result is eye catching. I am not sure about the typeface but my personal experience of Marseille is that many weird typefaces are used when representing the city’s name.

3 December 2016

I am going away for the weekend so only have an hour or two to work on my new lesson. I am creating the guide cover for Malmo. I started in my log and looked at the flag colours. I passed through Malmo many years ago but remember nothing abut it. I do not know if I left the train station as I was on my way elsewhere with three children.

I do remember that I travelled to Malmo on the train from Copenhagen. The train went on to the ferry. So I want to create something with a bridge from Copenhagen to Malmo.

Last night I wanted to work with water-colours to create an image of Malmo from an image I found online. I visited the Societe d’Aquaralistes de la France exhibition this week. The President of this society is a very good friend. There was a large number of European watercolorists exhibiting and for the first time an American group. My visit had inspired me. I have done a very small amount of watercolours.

I decided to research the possibility in Illustrator of creating a colour panel around the flag colours. Having read this up in CC for Dummies I set about trying it out. I found the colour numbers for the flag, online. I used these to create the flag and then followed the instructions for creating some colour panels to work within.



Monday 5 December 2016

Today was Managua research and execution, if possible. I am trying to find designers who favour abstract in their work but am not having any success. There is a lot of clip art on the web but no one seems willing to put their name to the abstract design..

Here is a site with a couple of tips about abstract design. Here is a Russian born abstract designer on Instagram. If I start following him I may come across some others.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

I’ve been battling all day with Illustrator tutorials and I am nearly gone crazy. I feel so limited. The site I was using is here. I did learn a couple of things, especially some useful shortcuts. But I failed miserably on how to duplicate a selected object…

After several attempts I managed to create some triangles and then to group them and move them…. I’ll add this Managua attempt to my finished lot.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Today is Manchester. I have spent almost no time in Manchester during my lifetime. I remember passing through several times and being underwhelmed. This has given me a desire to create something with a light and airy appeal. One thinks of English cities as being grey on account of the weather. To counteract this I want to use blue as the background and to add white shapes to represent the sky and the stars…

Thursday 8 December 2016

I reworked my Manchester poster as I was unsatisfied with it. I had however learned a great deal in its making. I learned about shapes and how to combine them with images. I learned how to make clouds and this opened up pathfinder and all the possibilities therein. I have not tried them all but I am no longer scared of doing so.

Straight on to Manhattan. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for Manhattan and I now know how to create a silhouette in its own closed path. I am quite pleased with the result. However sometimes when I look at the result the next day I am less satisfied. We will see how it goes.

It is now on to Marrakech. I have never been to north Africa but I have lived in West Africa and now live close to Marseille which is like a mini north Africa so I should be able to come up with something. I found this site which is full of ideas.

The Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo), often considered the national emblem of Morocco.

This is a quote from a site giving explanations of symbols. I might use something like this with the colours of the flag – red and green.

I also like the idea of a pattern in a type of Moroccan pattern.

11 December 2016

On top of all this Illustrator work I am reading Itten’s book which has been loaned to me by a wonderful artist friend. I don’t want to keep it too long so I am trying to read it as quickly as possible. It is a book which needs to be read and re-read. I will try to get my library in Ireland to get it for me over Christmas.

I will write a review when I feel I have grasped the contents well enough to be able to review it.

19 December 2016

Have travelled home to Ireland for Christmas with family. Not a lot of college work will be done. However I am thinking of my assignment 3.  I want to celebrate the colour blue. I love this colour. I wear a lot of blue. I love clear blue skies, the blue of the sea and I have a beautiful blue flower bed in my garden. I want to do some research on the colour and then decide how I am going to celebrate it.

20 December 2016

Am collecting some blue material in search for inspiration.

Blue fish clipart:

22 December 2016

Reminding myself to watch this video:

6 January 2017

It has been a hectic few weeks with family and grandchildren and returning to Ireland and back here to France. Then being faced with the death of a very old (in the sense of time not age) friend.

But now it is back to work. I did work on my Colour Me assignment while in Ireland and asked the opinion of my neighbour/designer/friend. She gave good advice which I will follow.

9 January 2017

Have finished assignment 3 and will review the whole presentation . I received comments from two of the three friends I asked and followed the advice I received. I think this improved things. Again I ask myself why I did not see these things.