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by Bill Miller

There are many beautiful posters both vintage, contemporary and reproductions. Collecting and displaying some of them is fun.

I define posters as large format prints that advertise or promote an event such as a regatta/race, or product/service such as an observation train, or message such as the motivational posters we see today. It is made to be displayed or posted to catch the attention of the public. In its earlier form it was called a broadside. A broadside was a smaller size and had mostly printed text and maybe a small graphic or image. The graphic caught the eye so it grew in size and sophistication while the text shrank. With the development of color lithography, posters became beautiful works of art and illustrators were well known artists.

Traditionally the most popular purpose of the poster was to advertise a regatta/race. Every year a poster was designed for the European Championships and Olympic Games. Many others were designed for regional/local events.

Example of broadside:


Examples of national/international posters:

Tom Kudzma from Riverside Boat Club, Cambridge Massachusetts designed many beautiful posters in the 1960s and 1970s to promote local regattas and the American Henley Regatta:


Promotional poster for the London Underground currently being reproduced:

There are many vintage posters being reproduced today. These are usually clearly described as reproductions. So if you're looking for originals or if you're bidding on ebay, read the description carefully to make sure you're paying/bidding an appropriate amount.


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