Election posters in the United States after World War II

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This chapter examines the role that posters played in election campaigns in the United States in national and state campaigns after World War II. The chapter focuses on significant trends during this period, most important of which are changes in the visual design of election posters and the prominence of posters in political campaigns. One trend is that printed posters have become a generally less important political medium in the last half-century, although the national campaigns for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 motivated artists and graphic designers-as well as many with image-manipulation software-to create an abundance of posters, which were available on the Internet. The only previous burst of creativity for an American candidate in the postwar period was for George McGovern, albeit to a lesser extent. Nevertheless, the typical American election poster designs after World War II, particularly in the late 1980s and beyond, were uninspired and quite similar to one another. Frequently, these posters lacked any visuals, but continued to incorporate traditional patriotic colors and, occasionally, a symbol, such as the flag or an eagle.

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Election Posters Around the Globe: Political Campaigning in the Public Space

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