Strawberryluna

Stunning posters for Aronofsky’s Black Swan

Being a poster artist for me essentially also means being a fan & student of the history and art of posters, no matter what, where, when & for whom. In my case? Also being a bit of a film nut (to put it mildly), means that yeah, I’m really impressed by these absolutely amazing posters designed by London based outfit La Boca for Darren Aronofsky’s new film Black Swan. Which, I can’t wait to finally go see, as it looks incredibly cool & creepy. Holy spooky mirrors.

Add in my undying love for some good old-fashioned propagandist style & design, and poof! The perfect recipe of awesome was born with these masterful pieces. And while the photo-based posters (of which there a many striking and excellent ones too), are also incredible, I’m just floored by this set of graphic & illustrated posters. What a bold set they make and how well they work in tandem as well as on their own. It’s perfection. Hope that you dig them too.

Edit/add: Thanks to our pal Cameron of Two Duck Disco for letting us know that these posters were created by La Boca out of London. Cheers!

Banned Books Week posters by our pals @Northcoast Zeitgeist

Poster designed by Northcoast Zeitgeist in honor of Banned Books Week. Click for more info.

I am totally loving this poster from our state-neighbor-friends in Ohio, Northcoast Zeitgeist done in honor of Banned Books Week. What is this? It’s rad, that’s what.

It’s no secret that I’m a complete book & reading fan, nerd if you will. And the idea of banning books has always broken my heart. It’s sort of the first step towards book-burning, which is the ultimate sacrilegious destroyer of the freedom of knowledge. To that end, I think that these posters by our pals at Northcoast Zeitgeist are super.

Poster designed by Northcoast Zeitgeist in honor of Banned Books Week. Click for more info.

From the Banned Books Week website:

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. Click here to see a map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007 to 2009. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and they protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups–or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2010 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 25 through October 2.

The purpose of this Web site is to help the public join the celebration of our freedom to read. The easiest way is to visit a participating library or bookstore. There is a list of Events, to help you find one in your community. (If you want to post information about an event in your community, please click here.) There is also a list of suggestions of other activities that will help remind people of the importance of free speech, What You Can Do. If you want further information about BannedBooksWeek.org, contact us at info@abffe.com or bbw@ala.org.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

Poster designed by Northcoast Zeitgeist in honor of Banned Books Week. Click for more info.

Banning books is dumb, OK? Cheers!

Vintage Japanese Industrial Expo posters


Grand Exposition in Commemoration of the Imperial Coronation – Kyoto, 1928 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

One of my favorite thing about the interwebs is stumbling onto incredible things that I would otherwise never see. Recently I came across the Pink Tentacle’s fantastically beautiful blog post featuring Vintage Japanese posters produced for several different industrial expositions throughout the late 1930′s and into the early 1940′s.

I can’t gush adequately or explain my fascination with propaganda in general, let alone describe the thrill of looking at poster art such as these pieces. They are just stunning. I really love the ways that the themes and imagery run from incredibly dark, heavy serious (much like the word “industry” can conjure such connotations as well) such as the two examples below:

National Defense Science Exposition – Hyogo, 1941 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

The above being especially chilling given that the imagery evokes Japanese-American connection to each other and WWII via Pearl Harbor both in theme and the year of the Japanese National Defense Science  Exposition, 1941.

Japan-Manchuria Industrial Exhibition – Toyama, 1936 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

Or, a much ligher aspect of “industry” can be called forth, as in the Tourism Industry Expo poster seen here, where even a Buck might be enticed into playing tourist:

Tourism Industry Exhibition – Nara, 1933 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

And here is an interesting combination of both heavy, militaristic and mythologically represented industries in the form of a Sea & Air Expo:

Sea and Air Exhibition – Tokyo, 1930 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

Beyond the heavily represented military-based industries & expositions, of which there seem to have been numberous. Check out the poster  for an exhibition for the Second Sino-Japanese War below, which weirdly had only begun the year previous to this Expo’s poster and continued on for another 7 years:

Second Sino-Japanese War Exhibition – Osaka, 1938 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

There were also some really lovely commemorative exposition posters produced for potentially simpler and more peaceful (t0 a degree) endeavors like the new (at that time) Hakata port construction, an international gateway port for centuries in Japan:

Exposition Commemorating the Construction of Hakata Port – Fukuoka, 1936 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

And then finally, there are some posters whose lettering just really catches my eye. No, I read no Japanese and don’t know a thing of Kanji. Even so, I find the idea of reading letters a pretty amazing feat as they rarely formed the same way twice when rendered by hand or in different fonts and lettering style. When you stop & think about it, it’s practically a miracle that humans read really. Case in point, the lettering examples below are so stylized and almost wrought with objects and illustration or have parts of the illustration itself crossing into the formation of the letterforms, that even I can see how non-traditionally styled they are:

Nagoya Pan-Pacific Peace Exposition – Nagoya, 1937 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

The National Products Progress Exhibition – Kagoshima, 1931 (click to see more posters & for more information.)

Above all else, I am in love with the colors, opacity & transparencies and relationships of shapes in all of these posters. They are just phenomenal. Thanks to Pink Tentacle for posting so many and feeding my eyes. To see more posters, visit the always interesting Pink Tentacle blog here or click on any of the images above. And as always, feel free to comment!