On that note, it is quite significant that many bicycle posters featured beautiful women at the forefront. This can be attributed to many reasons, the most obvious being “sex sells”. Women were also used to depict the freedom that bicycles brought with them in terms of movement, dress and of association. Posters also suggested that femininity was increased on a bicycle, as oppose to some popular thought that it was a crude instrument.
Post WWI, society had changed, and thus posters and advertising changed too. Art deco became the predominant style with much smoother, simpler designs and straightforward text. These designs were based on the straight line and coincided with the cubism and futurism movements.
Today, due to their general appeal and affordability, vintage bicycle posters became highly prized and valuable collectors items. American collector Brett Horton has turned his collection of cycling memorabilia and posters into a museum in downtown San Francisco.
Almost 100 years old, these design tips from art historian W.S. Rogers, published in 1914, still form the basis of modern poster design.
- A pictorial poster must contain a good idea, original or originally expressed.
- The poster must be simple and broad in treatment.
- It must conform to the rules of pictorial composition.
- The poster must be well drawn and well produced.
- It must deliver its message with no uncertain voice, and if possible, without the help of explanatory lettering, or very little.
- It must be striking in colour scheme.