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Marion G. Müller

Subject Politics
Communication Studies » Visual and Non-verbal Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Posters are visual means of communicating messages to large public audiences (→  Visual Communication ). A poster is a printed mass media product (→  Printing, History of ). Although →  graffiti and murals are predecessors of posters, they do not qualify as posters, since one of the defining criteria for a poster is its mass reproducibility. While graffiti and murals exist only as single objects, attached to a specific place, posters are movable objects produced in large quantities to cover a wide geographical area. The production of posters is typically event-related: political campaigns (→  Election Campaign Communication ), advertising campaigns (→  Advertising Campaign Management), or simple announcements of cultural events count among the typical events leading to poster production (→  Media Events and Pseudo-Events ). While posters in the context of an electoral or commercial campaign have to be considered as paid media , protest posters, produced for demonstrations or expressing clandestine opposition, are free media that have an end in itself and are not part of a larger, commercialized production process. Historically, the poster or “placard” as a public announcement is linked with political upheaval and war. Already in the seventeenth century Netherlands, so-called plakatten , posted to walls and other public places, were used by the Dutch to protest Spanish domination. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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