Posters – History, Trends, and Home Decor


Posters have been around for a while now. They started as advertisements and general messages from the government to the public, but nowadays posters have moved from public display places to private homes as a stylish and unusual decor element. Keep reading to learn more about posters and how to use them in your home!


There are a few definitions that help us characterize what a poster is. Firstly, it is a printed sheet containing images and text and is put in a public space. Usually, a poster is pretty large in size. Secondly, a poster is often used to promote something – it can be a movie, a political candidate, good habits, or a company or its products. And thirdly, a poster is a printed picture used as a wall decoration publicly or in a private setting.



Poster as a communication vessel has been used for centuries. Poster ancestors include notes and drawings on the wall in common places where people gathered to inform them about the actualities in the area. These notes usually were black and white and plainly informative.

The first poster, as we know it, was created at the end of the 19th century with the invention of 3 stone lithographic process. This printing process allowed artists to work with lots of colors and get a pretty precise print from their designs. Also, the color palette was not limited and the printing process itself was cheap and fast which made it perfect for mass production. Taking into account all these variables, with the lithographic printing process posters became a powerful and often used marketing tool.

The 3 stone lithographic printing process was perfected by two parties – Jules Charet who was a French artist and painter and the Choubrack brothers, who were also French artists, poster designers, and illustrators. These three men reduced the costs of the lithographic printing method by introducing technical advancements to the technique and making it the perfect poster printing machine.

So, of course, these three men became the first modern poster creators since they knew the method well and were artists before.

Some of Jules Charet’s most popular posters are ones he made for the “Eldorado” music hall, the “Olympia” music hall, and the “Folies Bergère” music hall. He also created posters for products like the french tonic vine, etc.

One of the most popular Alfred Choubrack’s works is an advertisement poster for the popular nightclub in Paris “Moulin Rouge”. Alfred created a lot of other posters for magazines, theaters, operas, etc. He was famous for having satirical drawings and his posters once in a while were censored because of public indecency.

Alfred’s brother Leon has illustrated several Emile Zola works. He also worked on different private orders, however, as well as his brother Alfred, some of his work was censored for being inappropriate for that time.

Poster styles


As with everything, posters were also following the trends of a certain period. During the 1920ties posters were created in Art Nouveau style, but later modernism became popular. Between the world wars, posters in ArtDeco style gained popularity, but in the Soviet Union after World War II the main design style for posters was constructivism. Nowadays posters are made using graphic design and the trends and possibilities are pretty wide, from old-school ArtDeco style to creative image and graphics merging.

A poster for…

Posters are usually created with the purpose to inform and convince. The persuasion can be for different reasons:

  • commercial posters want their viewers to buy something;
  • government posters are for elections or different causes, for example, posters that promote healthy action of the society;
  • propaganda posters were popular during the wars;
  • charity posters that are trying to raise money for a cause, etc.

Nowadays it is also popular to create posters and hang them up in your own space whether it is an office or home. These decorative posters often involve positive messages, for example, “You can do it!”, “Don’t give up!”, etc or quotes that resonate with the poster owner. It is also popular to hire a graphic designer and create a poster with your own design that represents you.

If you are interested in creating your own design for a poster and then printing it, consider going to! They are a print on demand supplier that specializes in poster and canvas printing. They have poster options in various sizes and you can get your poster printed on matte photo paper or glossy photo paper.

Vintage posters


Vintage posters are a great way how to bring some character into your home. If you want to, you can get a replica of a vintage poster (just make sure the seller has a copyright license!) or you can go for the real thing. You can find real vintage posters on Etsy or go looking for some good finds in thrift stores.

Just be aware that thrift shops and internet shops might have good, old replicas of old posters, that sometimes can be priced as the original thing. If you are a vintage poster collector, definitely buy your posters from approved vintage poster sellers.

Poster styling ideas in home decor

A poster can be the perfect addition to your home decor. For example, if you are going for an ArtDeco style in your home decor, you can supplement and embrace the style with a poster in this style. It also can be applied to other styles, for example, modernism, mid-century modern, etc.

A poster can also be perceived as a piece of art and in that case, it doesn’t have to go perfectly together with the interior design style as long as it matches the interior and looks coherent. Modern posters are also a great addition to any family home. Whether it is a motivational poster or something with a positive message, or just a great graphic illustration, a poster is a great way how to inject some personality into your home.



Posters are part of our culture for a long time now. They have moved from just being informational, public display features to becoming home decor elements. The poster design styles have also evolved, as well as the message they are carrying. Nowadays it is fun to create your own posters and have them professionally printed as well as hunt down vintage posters in thrift shops and internet depths.