Yesterday I visited an exhibit at Portland’s Pittlock Mansion, A Golden Age of Poster Design: Magazine Posters from the 1890s. This locally owned collection features lithographic posters created to promote magazines like Harper’s Monthly, The Century and Lippencotts.
Before the 1890’s posters were expensive to produce. But new lithographic printing methods made color printing affordable for magazine publishers.
These posters were placed in bookseller’s windows to promote magazine sales. Publishers soon discovered that people were interested in the posters for their artistic appeal. Thus a poster collecting fad began.
This exhibit features posters created by Maxfield Parrish, Edward Potthast, J.J. Gould Jr. and others. Some of these illustrators were employed by the publishers and others were “winners” of poster competitions.
Artists were influenced by Art Nouveau, Japanese prints, Arts and Crafts movement. The design of the posters usually used fluid lines, flat colors areas and simple typography — usually only the magazine title and issue were shown.
I remember studying and loving these artists’ works while taking Art History classes in college. I know they’ve influenced my illustration style on some of the projects I’ve worked on.
Visit this poster exhibit at the Pittlock Mansion
3229 NW Pittock Dr
Portland, Oregon 97210
A design that needs study is not a poster no matter how well it is executed.”
— Edward Penfield
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work as a designer for some amazing organizations. My favorites include the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Art Museum and most recently, the Haring Center. Each these organizations provided me with the opportunity to do creative, meaningful work. I’ve loved working for each of these organizations.
Three years ago, I became a graphic designer on Project iBESTT, an educational research project at the UW’s Haring Center for Research and Training in Inclusive Education. My design work included creating the brand identity, presentation materials, informational graphics and illustrations for use in web-based training and marketing materials.
Shortly after, Haring Center hired me to rebuild their website. The website had been recently redesigned but they wanted the functionality of the site to be more user-friendly. While this was initially a temporary position, I was asked to stay on to manage the website, create new websites and to help with their marketing efforts. Some of the projects that I worked on included websites for Haring Center, Project DATA, Jump: A Haring Center Experience and various marketing campaigns.
This week is my last week working for Haring Center. I’ve been working remotely for Haring Center since my move to Portland and I am now training co-workers to take over the management of Haring Center’s websites.
I am constantly impressed by the work done at Haring Center. Everyone at Haring Center is doing amazing work to improve the lives of all children with and without disabilities. I will miss being a part of the University of Washington’s Haring Center.
“Design Week Portland is a week-long, city-wide series of programs exploring the process, craft, and practice of design across all disciplines.”
Portland’s creative community has held this event for the last five years. An impressive variety of talks, workshops, exhibitions, studio tours and more are presented. Although I’ve only attended a few of these sessions so far, I’m impressed with the quality of the work presented, the knowledge being shared and the welcoming, collaborative “feel” of the local design community.
The mission of DWP “is to increase appreciation and awareness about design and its far-reaching effects on matters of cultural and social relevance, including community development, education systems, and the economy.”
Design Week Portland runs through Saturday, April 29th. Learn more about this event.