A fantastic new show opening in London today celebrates half a century of the best international poster design. Posters from the likes of Wim Crouwel, Roger Hargreaves and Julian Palka are among the 45 works selected from the amazing archive of the Icograda (the International Council of Communication Design) by 15 leading contemporary design figures including Anthony Burrill, Noma Bar, Emma Thomas from A Practice For Everyday Life and our very own Will Hudson.
Their selections are being exhibited at the London College of Communciation and there is an accompanying booklet which explains how they came to their choices. While aesthetically the work on display is a magnificent cross section of the archive’s 2,000 treasures, the show naturally also explores the changing role of the poster, which Hyperkit’s Kate Sclater calls “the epitome of all graphic design formats.”
“There is something wonderful about the constraints of a single sheet of paper and pushing what you can do with it.”
Emma Thomas, A Practice For Everyday Life
She said: “Looking at the collection is a reminder of a time when it was possible for a designer to use the poster as a way of self-expression, which I feel is not as viable today when responding to the demands of a client’s brief.” APFEL’s Emma Thomas agreed that the posters harked back to "an era before marketing departments, where designers worked directly with their clients – resulting in brave ideas and unconventional designs. There is something wonderful about the constraints of a single sheet of paper and pushing what you can do with it.”
Ian Wright was similarly reflective after making his choices. He said: “I would like to think that there is a place for the poster now – simple statements with a message. I remember when I was younger you would see posters around and you knew what was going on. Maybe our generation should be getting back to that and providing more visuals on the street.”
Posters Selected From The Icograda Archive runs from today until September 13.