Posters Study Guide

'Posters', colour lithograph advertising a V&A exhibition, by Austin Cooper, England, UK, 1931. Museum no. E.1837-1931, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

'Posters', colour lithograph advertising an exhibition held at the V&A Museum 23 June–30 September 1931, by Austin Cooper (1890–1964), England, UK, 1931. Museum no. E.1837-1931, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

General bibliography

  • Abdy, Jane, The French poster: Cheret to Cappiello. London: Studio Vista, 1969
  • Ades, Dawn, The 20th-century poster: design of the avant-garde. New York: Abbeville Press, 1984
  • Aynsley, J, Graphic design in Germany 1890-1945. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000
  • Barnicoat, John, A concise history of posters. London: Thames and Hudson, 1972
  • Bernstein, David, Advertising outdoors: watch this space! London: Phaidon, 1992
  • Edge, Kevin, The art of selling songs: graphics for the music business. London: Futures Publications, 1991
  • Gallo, Max, The poster in history. Milan: Mondadori, 1972. English translation, The Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1974
  • Grushkin, Paul, The art of rock: posters from Presley to punk. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987
  • Hillier, Bevis, Posters. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1969
  • Hutchinson, Harold F, The poster an illustrated history from 1860. London: Studio Vista, 1968
  • Owen, Ted, Dickson, Denise and Medeiros, Walter, High art: a history of the psychedelic poster. London: Sanctuary Publishing, 1999
  • Pack, Susan, Film posters of the Russian avant-garde. Köln: Taschen, 1995
  • Rickards, Maurice, Posters of the 1920s, London: Evelyn, Adams & Mackay, 1968.
  • Rickards, Maurice, The rise and fall of the poster. Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 1971
  • RossI, Attilio, Posters . New York: Paul Hamlyn, 1971
  • Timmers, Margaret, The power of the poster. London: V&A Publications, 1998
  • Weill, Alain, The poster: a worldwide survey and its history. London: Sotheby’s Publications, 1985

Political, propaganda and protest

  • Aulich, James and Sylvestrová, Marta, Political posters in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-95. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999
  • Baburina, Nina, The Soviet political poster, 1917-1980. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1985
  • Bird, William L. and Rubenstein, Harry R, Design for victory: World War II posters on the American home front. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998
  • Cantwell, John D, Images of war: British posters 1939-45. London: HMSO, 1989
  • Darracott, Joseph, The First Word War in posters. New York: Dover Publications, 1974
  • Darracott, Joseph, and Loftus, Belinda, First World War Posters and Second World War London: Imperial War Museum, 1972
  • Hardie, Martin and Sabin, Arthur K, eds., War posters issued by belligerent and neutral nations 1914-1919. London: A. & C. Black, 1920
  • Judd, Denis, Posters of World War Two. London: Wayland, 1972
  • Philippe, Robert, Political graphics: art as activist. Oxford: Phaidon, 1982
  • Rickards, Maurice, Posters of the First World War. London: Evelyn, Adams, & Mackay, 1968
  • Sylvestrová, Marta and Bartelt, Dana, Art as activist: revolutionary posters from Central & Eastern Europe. New York: Washington D.C.: Universe Books, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, 1992
  • White, Stephen, The Bolshevik poster. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988
  • Yanker, Gary, Prop art: over 1000 contemporary political posters. London: Studio Vista, 1972

Posters issued by specific companies and organisations

Empire Marketing Board
  • Constantine, Stephen. Buy & build: the advertising posters of the Empire Marketing Board. London: HMSO, 1986
General Post Office
  • Barden, Mike. GPO posters: post early 1920-1960. London: Camberwell Press, 1993
London Transport
  • Green, Oliver. Underground art: London Transport posters 1908 to the present. London: Laurence King, 2001
  • Laver, James. Art for all: London Transport posters 1908-49. London: London, Transport Executive, 1949
  • Levey, M.F. London Transport posters. Oxford: Phaidon, 1976
Railway Companies
  • Cole, Beverley and Durack, Richard. Railway posters 1923-1947 from the collection of the National Railway Museum, York. London: Laurence King, 1992
  • Shackleton, J .T. The golden age of the railway poster. London: New English Library, 1976
Shell & B.P. Ltd.
  • Bernstein, David. The Shell poster book. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1992
  • Shell UK Oil, foreword Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, introd. John Hewitt. The Shell poster book. London: Profile Books, 1998
  • 'That’s Shell – that is!': an exhibition of Shell advertising art. London: Barbican Art gallery and Shell UK Ltd., 1983

Collections of posters

Victoria & Albert Museum

Other collections

  • Imperial War Museum
    Posters from the First and Second World Wars, Spanish Civil War, and other conflicts
  • London Transport Museum
    London Transport posters
  • National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Cardiff
    Broad-ranging collection, from artists' screenprints, to advertisements, health education and political campaign posters
  • National Railway Museum, York
    Railway posters
  • Public Record Office, Kew
    Historic collection of posters issued by government departments; includes Empire Marketing Board posters
  • Tate Archive, London
    Artist-designed posters, largely acquired internally through the Tate Library and Press Office
  • British Film Institute
    c.15,000 film posters from Britain, the USA and around the world, early 1900s to the present day, including newsreel posters and cinema events (there is also a small collection of television posters). Majority of posters available for view on 35mm transparency from the BFI office in 21 Stephen Street, London W1T 1LN
  • The University of Westminster Chinese Poster Collection
    A unique archival collection of some five hundred posters spanning the period between the late 1960s and the late 1980s
  • Post Office Archives, Freeling House, Mount Pleasant, London EC1A 1BB, tel: +44 (0)20 7239 2570
    Photographic record catalogue of Post Office posters from the 1930s to the present day
  • History of Advertising Trust
    Archive of advertising art
  • Shell Art Collection
    Housed at The Library of Motoring, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZS
    Includes Shell & B.P. posters

Last updated 1 August 2002.

The Medal Cabinet Appeal

We urgently need your help to raise £534,000 to save this rare and remarkable medal cabinet from export. We only have until July 2014 to acquire it and ensure its place in the national collections.

Help us buy The Medal Cabinet

Shop online

Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide from Classics to Cult (Paperback)

Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide from Classics to Cult (Paperback)

Uncovering a treasure trove of Italian films from The Leopard to Puma Man - Italian filmmakers have created some of the most magical and moving, viole…

Buy now

Event - Posters, Politics, Protest: British Political Posters

Fri 10 October 2014 10:00

CONFERENCE: In the run-up to the General Election 2015, curators, campaigners and designers will explore the significance of the poster to British political debate.

Book online