British Posters : Advertising, Art & Activism
Drawing on the V&A’s wide-ranging postercollection, this book maps how the poster has evolved in Britain since 1945 inthe hands of graphic designers and fine artists, advertising agencies and counter-cultural groups.The range spans ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaigns, lavishly produced Benson & Hedgesbillboards, punk rock posters, hand-printed indictments of politicians andpublic art projects on the Underground.Defying regular predictions of its demise,the poster in Britain has adapted itself within achanging technological environment. It has absorbednew directions in art and design and has met unfolding social and commercialchallenges. British Posters considers these developments and looks at the varying platformsthat posters occupy. As part of the living skin of our cities, posters haveentered into conflicts over the content and control of public space. Behind closed doors we havewelcomed posters into our homes, Blu-Tacked them to our bedroom walls and made collections of them.Today, in an age of digital media and viral communication, the poster remainsan irresistible proposition.
Catherine Flood is a curator in the Wordand Image Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, specializing in posters,graphics and ephemeral print. She has previously published on subjects including the early development of theposter in Britain and nineteenth-century print culture.