Saturday, May 03, 2008

Cinderella Stories

When Laura Smith (see below) mentioned that her artistic influences did “poster art,” I misunderstood her – she pointed that out in a comment posted to the blog. In fact, an artist like A M Cassandre did a lot of these small pieces – the one to the left, dated 1928, measures 1.5 inches by 2.3 inches. If you look here, you’ll see a lot more.

I had to call a local stamp store to remind myself about what should have been a familiar term: Not poster stamps, but cinderellasstamp-like labels that include charity stamps like Easter Seals as well as advertising material of all kinds.

This is where Smith’s understanding of a “poster stamp” comes from. It’s a miniature version of a poster designed to advertise an event or product and, according to one definition, the main characteristic of the true poster stamp is integrity of design.

Color schemes and layouts had to be carefully chosen because poster in such small sizes had to catch the eye quickly. Sometimes these worked, sometimes they didn’t. But since a number of older designers worked in this format, they’re outstanding source materials for contemporary illustrators – just like postage stamp designers.

Ta for the weekend!

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