A favorite medium for publicity, they appeared in the form familiar to us today towards 1850, elevated by the renowned illustrator Toulouse-Lautrec.
With the Industrial Revolution and the profusion of new products arising from technical progress, such as the bicycle and the nascent automobile, the use of posters became much more widespread. Companies touted the benefits and usefulness of their products in this format which covered many large surfaces.
It was during this period that posters transformed, benefiting from progress in lithographic printing techniques (flat printing method) and becoming the leading medium.
During the “Thirty Glorious Years” post-war boom, the increase in income and purchasing power led to a huge jump in household consumption. The automobile industry then invested heavily in promoting its models.
In the 1980s, photography took on an important role in advertising. “Pasted” posters gradually disappeared from the urban landscape, replaced by “scrolling” posters fitted into electronic supports, scrolling between 1 to 5 images, depending on the time allotted for each message’s exposure.
Poster conservation depends largely on the quality of the paper used but also the original packaging. Posters were frequently folded or rolled; they often need to flattened in special storage drawers for large-format documents.
They have sometimes been stuck to rigid supports, and restoration becomes inevitable, because the glues used and the quality of the support greatly accentuate the deterioration process. One solution is to mount them on linen or cotton canvas, materials which are particularly chemically stable, which consolidate the document and significantly reduce the risk of deterioration due to poor handling.