Campaign Posters as Collectible Art

Campaign Posters as Collectible Art

The 2016 United States presidential race!

Rest easy – slowly inhale, slowly exhale. This post is not about the election; it looks at the campaign poster in USA presidential elections. Even with the strong use of technology and social media, the printed poster still plays a vital role in campaign advertising. As early as the 19 th century, candidates used the poster as a major campaign marketing tool. Posters created in this time period incorporated more detailed imagery compared to today’s campaign art. An example of 19 th century political art is the woodcut relief printed 1860 campaign poster for Abraham Lincoln.

During the 20 th century, design schemes changed to use of a black and white photograph with capitalized large text. An example of this design is a 1960 campaign poster for John F. Kennedy. The Atlantic Magazine gives some interesting thoughts about the evolution of the campaign poster.

A 21 st century shift in design for political art was Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster for the Barak Obama 2008 political campaign. A red, white, and blue color scheme with clearly defined overlapped shapes of color created an image of the then candidate that captured the viewer’s attention. The impact of this design can be seen in official and unofficial posters created during the 2016 campaign.

The visual language of these contemporary campaign posters, as well as those from previous centuries make them unique historical pieces of art. Become a campaign art enthusiast, bring your collection to the Frame Shop and allow us to enhance and protect your pieces of history.

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