What’s in a Poster?

| December 5, 2016

If you can answer this question, then you are well on your way. What does it take to make a good poster? Consider: a headline that’s easy to read from a distance; a few pertinent details, outlining the what, when, and where; and, importantly, an eye-catching, thought-provoking visual, for this is what people often see first! Because the average viewer tends to glance at it for just a few seconds, the poster can never afford to be just average. It is necessarily economical and persuasive, and, even in the age of apps, it is still “in”, connecting up the dots. What’s more, if you can comment on the relevance of the visual by looking at the source of inspiration in design (historical art collections), then you are further along in research. Below are a couple of examples.

Special Tour: Paranormal Investigation

The Oracle (1971), by Riva Helfond

Federico Castellon Memorial Print Collection







December Databases: Play

Horace Mann School. Children Dressed as Foresters, Playing on The Columbia Campus. Teachers College. (Date Not Known) (n/a, 1900-1950), by Photographer: Unknown.

Historical Photographs of Teachers College.




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  • The Federico Castellon Memorial Print Collection comprises a collection of 78 prints donated to Teachers College by established printmakers throughout the United States under the aegis of the Society of American Graphic Artists.
  • The Historical Photographs Collection comprises 450 photographs, taken by A. Fowler and others, document the architectural growth of the College and the academic and social life of its members over a century. They date from the late 1890’s through the 1980’s.