British poster book & magazine covers, 1900-1960

One of the pleasures of researching poster history, and British poster history especially, is the sheer amount that has been written on the subject from the nineteenth century to the present day. Our bibliography is an ongoing attempt to list all the books written about poster design in the UK, with ‘new’ titles (well, new to me) seemingly popping up all the time.
This blog, though, has a more modest intention: to celebrate the cover artwork of a selection of poster books & magazines from the first sixty years of the twentieth century. The idiosyncratic selection is based on my own collection and is in no way meant as a definitive representation. But they’re all designs that I like and include some of the most significant poster publications of the times.
If you’re interested in starting your own collection of poster books (Warning: very addictive), we always carry a selection of rare and second-hand titles here.

The Poster July 1900

The Poster (magazine), July 1900
Star Wood (1870-1944)


War Poster Hardie & Sabine

War Poster issued by belligerent and neutral nations 1914-1919, 1920
Martin Hardie and Arthur K. Sabin
Cover artwork: detail from 1915 German prisoners of war aid poster by
Ludwig Hohlwein (1874-1949)


Advertising & Industry Walter Shaw Sparrow

 Advertising in British Art, 1924
Walter Shaw Sparrow
Cover artwork: John Hassall (1868-1948)

  Kauffer book

 The Art of the Poster: Its Origin, Evolution and Purpose, 1924
Edward McKnight Kauffer (1899-1954)


Commerical Art 1925

Commercial Art (magazine), March 1925
Frank Newbould (1887-1951)


Training in Commercial Art VL Danvers

Training in Commercial Art, 1926
Verney L. Danvers (1895-1973)


LMS Posters by Royal Academicians

Posters by Royal Academicians and other eminent Artists, 1926
London Midland & Scottish Railway
Cover artwork: detail from LMS poster by Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971)


Some LNER posters

Some LNER Posters, c.1926
Artist unknown

Raffe Poster Design

 Poster Design, 1929
Walter G Raffe (1888-c.1950)

 Technique of the Poster

 The Technique of the Poster, 1935
Leonard Richmond (editor)
Cover artwork: Cecil Wade


The Artist in Commerce Leonard Sharpe

The Artist in Commerce, 1936
Leonard Sharpe

Making a Poster Austin Cooper

 Making a Poster, 1938
Austin Cooper (1890-1964)

 The Poster

The Poster (magazine), April 1938
Artist unknown

  Modern Publicity

 Modern Publicity, 1939
Edward Bawden (1903-1989)

 Art & Industry

Art & Industry (magazine), August 1945
FHK Henrion (1914-1990)


A School of Purposes Fougasse

A School of Purposes. Fougasse Posters, 1939-1945, 1946
‘Fougasse’ (Cyril Bird, 1887 - 1965)

Poster Design Tom Eckersley

Poster Design, 1953
Tom Eckersley (1914-1997)


Advertising and the Artist Ashley Havinden

Advertising and the Artist, 1956
Ashley Havinden (1903-1973)


Over My Shoulder Abram Games

Over My Shoulder, 1960
Abram Games (1914-1996)









Comments on post  (1)

Diane Lockett says:

I am currently conserving a poster by A.E Halliwell. It is one in a series made for the London Underground in the early 2oth Century.
As part of my research I am interested to understand the way in which the poster was graphically composed and the standard layout used during this period. It is an original painting intended to be reproduced using A commercial technique but I would like to research the typography layout as it may be stencilled or hand drawn.
Please could you recommend some of the books on your list that may assist me and the prices.

Many of thanks

Diane Lockett

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