Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!

Posters from the 1920s—Art Deco Style!


Power, speed and vibrant color were the dominating themes in posters created in the 1920s. The artwork, referred to as Art Deco, allowed posters to take on a new form with simplified shapes and sleek, angular lettering replacing the curved lettering of the Art Nouveau style. (source)

Presented by the offset printing services company, Next Day Flyers. They offer fast turnaround time on printed materials including business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures.

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Tour Eiffel during the exhibition (source) | (source)

The term Art Deco comes from the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, where people flocked to view a spectacular display of this new type of art.

1927 Poster for Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (source)
This vintage 1927 movie poster epitomizes a very vivid sense of power that was a popular theme in the posters created in the 1920s.

1926 Poster “Don Juan,” starring John Barrymore (grandfather of Drew Barrymore) (source)

This vintage 1926 movie poster practically drips with brute strength and speed. It also features a variety of lettering styles and colors to add a bit more excitement to the overall picture.

1920's George V. Hecker's Flour Vintage Poster (source)

Printed in the lithograph style, you will notice that this beauty was laid out horizontally, suggesting that it was used as an insert for advertising on a train, trolley or bus.

1920s Original Antique Vintage Clothing Poster (source)

The well-dressed couple depicted in this poster is wearing the flapper-style clothing that was popular in the Art Deco era. Another thing that sets it apart, which cannot be seen in a digital image, is its linen back, which was a common printing surface in this time period.

1920s Lori or Lora Harrington & her Gypsy Wayfarers Vintage Vaudeville Music Poster (source)

Printed by Quigley Lithograph Co., this rare music poster uses a simple color scheme to draw the audience in and make the lettering litterally pop out at you. Another interstesting tidbit is that it was mounted on linen and machine folded for distribution.

1920s National Dairy Council Milk Poster (source) | 1928 Milk Bottle Lawrence Wilbur Poster (source)

Have you ever wondered how drinking cow’s milk became so popular? Apparently, the National Dairy Association started its campaign back at the turn of the twentieth century. The bright yellow in the National Dairy Council poster definitely catches the eye. In contrast, the deep shades of color in the Lawrence Wilbur poster showcase illustrative and graphic arts printing methods at their best.

1920 Dairy Milk and Airplane Poster (source)

Produced by the Dairymen`s League Cooperative Association in New York City, this poster also promotes the drinking of milk by combining the themes of power and speed with a traditional American landscape. Although the airplane is the focus, this poster offers many other elements such as the machine-age skyscrapers in the foreground encompassing the airplane, a milk truck on a highway and a steam engine train, backed by a colorful patchwork of farm lands.

1920s Corticelli Fabric Fashion Poster (source)

Fashion at its finest! This simple, yet elegant poster uses the idea of “less is more” to convey its message.

1920 French Railroad Poster (source)

This work of art reveals lithograph at its finest. Advertising the French Railway as your host for excursions to Normandy, it was printed in France and designed by well-known French graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator Charles-Jean Hallo.

1920s Doctor Lynas’ Extracts Poster (source)

This poster is unique in that it was printed on cardboard. Its bold typography adds emphasis to the fact that Dr. Lynas’ was a well-known brand of the era.

1920 Eveready Flashlight Christmas Poster (source)

This charming photomontage poster mixes text and photo elements to create a sense of expression that is sure make you smile. The detail that went into printing this almost “life-like” gentleman reveals the use of some very detailed and tedious lithography techniques.

Vintage ambient advertising for women's stockings, 1920s (source)

These “posters” take linen backing to a whole new level.


In retrospect, while many posters from the 1920s were detailed works of art, a great many more were simply humorous, cheeky, or down-right ugly. Together, these posters helped to form the foundation of modern-day advertising, and give us great topics to blog about, too!

If you would like to find out more about vintage posters, visit http://vintageposterworks.com.

header credit: poster source | palette


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4 Comments
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 Comments
wicked cool stuff! my friend has a reprint of a poster for Chicago in her living room from the 1920s. it's a really cool poster, and i love this style.
Love this!! Especially the 'Don Juan' poster of Drew BArrymore's grandfather!!!
Very interesting article! I have always appreciated vintage advertising, and I miss the aspect of hand-drawn or painted artwork used in advertising, as photography began to take over in print ads in the 60s. Thank you for exhibiting some fine examples here! (I especially love the Hecker's Flour advertisement, with the extremely warm yellow and gold tones- makes me think of my grandmother's cozy and inviting kitchen!)

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