Iconic Posters

Posters have been one of the biggest and most successful methods of advertising in history. Posters have been used to promote everything from plays, to movies, music and even wars. Most of these iconic posters you’ll recognize from history. Some of these iconic posters are more recent. Poster design is still a highly effective form of advertising today. Let’s take a look at these 10 iconic posters of past and present.

Iconic posters - Bauhaus

You can’t mention iconic posters without mentioning Bauhaus and the modernist movement. It really has a look all of its own, doesn’t it?

Bob Dylan - Iconic posters

Milton Glaser’s poster for Bob Dylan has been featured in music shops and Design firms all over the world. The poster is a perfect example of emphasis in design, where all of your attention goes to the wild hair.

Gone With The Wind - Iconic posters

The good old days, where craftsmanship was honored, is exemplified in this classic film poster. The poster has so much emotion, and captures the essence of the film in one shot.

Jaws - Iconic posters

From a movie series that struck fear in the hearts of an entire generation of beach goers, jaws epitomizes the idea of fear. The swimmer is enjoying herself, ignorant of the danger that lurks below.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is sort of an example of graphic design within graphic design. The Park’s logo is featured as the focal point of the poster. This is an unexpected twist, considering the millions of dollars spent of creating life-like dinosaurs for the movie. It’s clever, though, because you have to pay the price of admission to see them in action. Do you think the movie would have been as successful if you were able to see them on the poster?

Vertigo - Iconic posters


I’ve personally never had vertigo, but I knew someone who did. They couldn’t walk, and a grown man had to be carried out of the room. I love this iconic poster, because it goes for an unexpected effect. Instead of blurring imagery, or swirling a photo or painting, Saul Bass used spiraling geometry to create the effect.

 Anatomy - Iconic posters

Another iconic poster from Saul Bass, Anatomy of a Murder doesn’t look like much in our digital age of special effects. If you can get past that, you’ll realize that it’s not so much about the effects, but about the concept. The different parts of the character are all separate shapes, almost like the person is dissected. This goes perfectly with the anatomy theme.

Obama - Iconic posters

This is a more recently created iconic poster design, but  had to include it. Nothing in recent years has become the symbol for America, change, and Democracy, than the iconic red, white and blue poster of Obama. Whether you like him or not, you know the poster for sure!

Rosie the Riveter

I saved the best posters for last. Rosie the Riveter is one of the most iconic images in America since World War II. It exemplifies woman power, and the ability of women to do the job that was originally thought to be handled only by men. It meant that it was time for women to roll up their sleeves and handle the dirty work while our men were fighting the Axis of Evil.

Uncle Sam - Iconic posters

This poster of Uncle Sam is one of the most iconic posters of our time. Uncle Sam is America and the United States Government personified. He was originally created for the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in 1916, but he ended up being one of the most sought after and widely printed posters in the world. With a look of someone you can trust, and a assertiveness of someone you can’t deny, Uncle Sam is the perfect personification of our government.

Which one of these iconic posters is your favorite? Mine is a three way tie between Gone With the Wind, Rosie The Riveter and Uncle Sam. I am a fan of vintage nostalgia. I’ve also always loved the painted look in older designs. I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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