Poster of the Day

Staff Favorite: Fritz Buhler’s “Merrent 40 Jahre – Basel”

vintage poster, Buhler Merrent

The liberation of fashion in the early Sixties is clear in this vibrant poster by leading Swiss poster artist Fritz Buhler.  His poster for a Basel clothier’s 40th anniversary is emphatic in announcing a new age of bold patterns and technicolor tones, a rich symphony of shapes and color that would go fully psychedelic three years later during the Summer of Love.  But for now, the grace and elegance of Jackie Kennedy is still strongly present, making this a true Mad Men “Swinging Sixties” fashion statement.  The color is not to be believed!

The Merrent has quickly become a staff favorite and is currently on display in the gallery’s Mid-Century Modern exhibit: Global Persuasion.

Gallery News

Vintage Posters Perfect for Halloween!

Vintage Posters for Halloween

Looking for some Halloween inspiration? We’ve gathered together some of our favorite scary posters over on Pinterest.  From Cappiello’s ghouls and goblins to sophisticated masquerade balls, there’s something for everyone!

Poster of the Day

Mid-Century Poster Highlights: Vespa

vintage poster, Vespa scooter

D. Ambrose, Vespa - Ca c'est formidable, c. 1955

In 1955, the high-energy French actor and singer Gilbert Becaud released the hit song titled C’est Formidable! (That’s Great!). It was a perfect marketing opportunity for Vespa to create a hip poster campaign. The poster shows the singer nimbly mounting the scooter as if it were a skateboard (a recently minted pastime itself, at the publication of this poster). The background was equally hip, with Vespa’s patented pastel colors in asymmetrical, intersecting shapes that echo Mid-Century furniture design. Fantastique!

Vespa, or Wasp in English, was named in 1946 for its narrow waist, high-pitched engine and antenna-like handlebar. The product was perfectly suited for the war-torn country, where consumer budgets and poor roads made larger vehicles impractical.

In 1952, the vehicle’s popularity skyrocketed when Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck teamed up on a Vespa in Roman Holiday. By 1956, 1 million Vespas had been sold. The Vespa survives today as one of the most fun products on two wheels.

This poster is available in two sizes.

Poster of the Day

Mid-Century Poster Highlights – “Tell” by Armin Hofmann

vintage poster, Armin Hofmann, Tell

This stunning poster, a classic of the International Typographic, or Swiss Style, was selected as a Swiss Poster of the Year award winner in 1963.  Strongly relying on typographic elements, the “Swiss Style” was refined in the ’50s and ’60s at two design schools, one in Basel led by Armin Hofmann and the other in Zurich under Josef Muller-Brockmann.  Both had studied at the Zurich School of Design before WWII, where they absorbed the modernist principles of the Bauhaus and Jan Tschichold’s New Typography.

Hofmann’s posters express a graphic purity rarely seen in any medium.  Restricting his palette to primarily black and white (and sometimes a third color), Hofmann used a mathematical grid to provide a unified and orderly structure.  Hand illustration disappeared, replaced by black and white studio photography, while traditional typefaces were replaced by clean and straightforward sans serif styles.  His poster for the opera William Tell is remarkable for its modern yet tension filled treatment that uses type to portray the arrow that whizzes toward the precariously balanced apple.

While collected by art and design museums throughout the world, Hofmann’s posters remain surprisingly affordable – with prices starting at just a few hundred dollars.  To view the Gallery’s extensive collection of his work, click here.

Gallery News

New! Mid-Century Modern Poster Exhibition

Global Persuasion Mid-Century Modern Posters

Despite the looming tensions of the Cold War, a sense of peace and prosperity settled throughout much of the world at the end of World War II. Populations rose dramatically, and technological advances such as the arrival of television and the commercial jetliner helped make the world seem like a much smaller place.  Global Persuasion explores the veritable “poster boom” of the post-war years, and the distinct consumer and corporate advertising styles it propelled.  An interesting blend of whimsy and optimism coupled with vigilance and Atomic Age anxiety, The Mid-Century Modern poster genre represented a monumental shake-up in the field of graphic design and has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years.

Including 35 examples of significant Mid-Century Modern design, the show presents work by pioneers such as Herbert LeupinErik NitscheArmin Hofmann, and David Klein, and is on display through November 21, 2012.

Browse all of our Mid-Century Modern posters here and stay tuned for more exhibit highlights!

Gallery News

Fashion’s Night Out on Newbury Street!

Join us for Boston’s Fashion’s Night Out! The gallery will be open late! Stop by and admire some of our finest fashion posters. FNO attendees will receive a special offer on our large selection of vintage fashion magazine covers and advertisements. Hope to see you there!

Poster History

1948 London Olympics – Fly Pan Am

vintage poster, 1948 London Olympics, Pan Am

Just in time for the opening ceremonies later this week, this gallery favorite tells a rich and timely story. In 1939, the Olympics were awarded to London for the 50th anniversary of the Games (to be held in 1944), but were cancelled due to World War II. After the War, London was chosen to host the Games in 1948 despite wartime damage and the strict austerity of its postwar economy.

None of this high drama is reflected in the timeless poster by Walter Herz, which combines the symbolism of the ancient games in the classical Greek sculpture of Discobolus, with the 5 interlocking rings of the Modern Games. In the background looms London’s dominant symbol, the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben’s clock showing 4PM – the time at which King George VI would proclaim the Games open.

The so-called “Austerity Games” were enormously successful, featuring athletes from a record 59 countries (although Germany and Japan were not invited and the Soviet Union chose not to participate). The Games were the first to be televised; the BBC paid 1000 pounds sterling for the broadcast rights.

Also, for the first time in 1948, Americans could fly across the Atlantic to attend the Olympics. This example is a very hard-to-find variant with Pan Am Clipper text. There were 3 sizes created; this is the 20 x 30″ medium format.

Browse all of International Poster Gallery’s Olympic posters here.

Gallery News

New Web Feature – Get A Quote!

Have you noticed the latest addition on www.internationalposter.com?  The “Get A Quote” button located on every poster detail page allows you to quickly and easily request pricing and condition information.  Just enter your name and email and you’ll hear back from one of our knowledgeable and friendly staff members within 24 hours.

Happy poster shopping!

Gallery News

Postermania! Our 19th Annual Summer Poster Show

We are proud to present Postermania!: Handpicked Summer Favorites, a show and sale of original vintage posters chosen by the gallery’s knowledgeable staff.  The term “Postermania” was originally coined during the Belle Epoque and refers to the poster fever that swept Paris during the 1890s.  Fittingly, the gallery’s 19th annual summer exhibition features a diverse selection of posters by subject, genre and period, each selected by IPG staff members to reflect their individual tastes.

Read more here, and we’ve love to hear about your favorites in the comments section below!

Gallery News

“Titans of the Sea” Opening Reception

Did you miss the Titans of the Sea opening event?  Enjoy some highlights here:

Video by Riley McCaskill.