|By the time World War II
commenced in 1939 most posters were printed using a mass
production technique known as "photo-offset" and posters
were facing competition from radio and print, and later from
Despite this competition posters
continued to thrive as a vital way of communicating messages to
the masses. The use of photography in posters
became common-place. Switzerland, for long a prominent player in
the development of poster art and printing, was now to play a
major role in the next stage of the poster evolution.
Although a relatively small country
Switzerland nevertheless spoke and wrote 3 different languages
which created many problems when designing posters, and a way had
to be found to overcome these language difficulties and make
posters more easily understood by
everyone. With the advent of World War II
Switzerland's problems became a Universal problem, but it was the
Swiss who provided the solution.
With typical Swiss sense of
"precision" they developed an art style which came to be
known as the "International Typographic
Style". Based on a mathematical grid, strict
graphic rules and using black and white photography the
style created clarity and introduced the now, common-place, form
of Company and Event Identification by logos and icons.
Simultaneously a different, more relaxed,
approach to poster art was being adopted in other
countries. This approach was referred to as
"Conceptual Image". In
America the "Conceptual Image" approach borrowed freely
from Surrealism, Pop Art and Expressionism to create
"vibrant, screaming, spectacular" posters including, for
a short period, a craze for psychedelic posters.
This trait was adapted/adopted by the Polish School and by
individuals such as Armando Testa of Italy, Gunter Rambow of
Germany and Nicolas Troxler of Switzerland.
Typographic Style declined in use in the 70s and 80s and was
replaced with "Post Modern" designs which were
predominantly graphic in nature. This change was to accelerate
with advances in Computer Graphics, a process which is set to
continue for the foreseeable future.