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A poster is any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface. Typically posters
include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text.
Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be used for many purposes. They are a
frequent tool of advertisers (particularly of events, musicians and films), propagandists, protestors and other
groups trying to communicate a message. Posters are also used for reproductions of artwork, particularly famous
works, and are generally low-cost compared to original artwork.

According to French historian Max Gallo, "for over two hundred years, posters have been displayed in public places
all over the world. Visually striking, they have been designed to attract the attention of passers-by, making us
aware of a political viewpoint, enticing us to attend specific events, or encouraging us to purchase a particular
product or service."[1] The modern poster, as we know it, however, dates back to 1870 when the printing industry
perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible.
"In little more than a hundred years", writes poster expert John Barnicoat, "it has come to be recognized as a vital
art form, attracting artists at every level, from painters like Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha to theatrical and
commercial designers." They have ranged in styles from Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Cubism, and Art Deco to the
more formal Bauhaus and the often incoherent hippie posters of the 1960s.

Many printing techniques are used to produce posters. While most posters are mass-produced, posters may also be printed
by hand or in limited editions. Most posters are printed on one side and left blank on the back, the better for affixing
to a wall or other surface. Pin-up sized posters are usually printed on A3 Standard Silk paper in full colour.
Upon purchase, most commercially available posters are often rolled up into a cylindrical tube to allow for
damage-free transportation. Rolled-up posters can then be flattened under pressure for several hours to regain
their original form.
It is possible to use poster creation software to print large posters on standard home or office printers.
Many posters, particularly early posters, were used for advertising products. Posters continue to be used for this purpose,
with posters advertising films, music (both concerts and recorded albums), comic books, and travel destinations being
particularly notable examples.

The film industry quickly discovered that vibrantly coloured posters were an easy way to sell their pictures.
Today, posters are produced for most major films, and the collecting of movie posters has become a major hobby.
The record price for a poster was set on November 15, 2005 when US$690,000 was paid for a poster of Fritz Lang's 1927
film Metropolis from the Reel Poster Gallery in London. Other early horror and science fiction posters are known to
bring tremendous prices as well, with an example from The Mummy realizing $452,000 in a 1997 Sotheby's auction, and
posters from both The Black Cat and Bride of Frankenstein selling for $334,600 in various Heritage Auctions. The 1931
Frankenstein 6-sheet poster, of which only 1 copy is known to exist, is considered to be the most valuable film poster
in the world.

Poster advertising or proposing a travel destination, or simply artistically articulating a place have been made.
An example is the Beach Town Posters series, a collection of Art Deco travel posters of American beach resorts that
refer to the advertising style of the 1920s and 1930s. A site dedicated to modern Travel Posters is SevenDays-in:
photographers of the world are selected to sell on line their photos.

In the early days of steam railways in Britain, the various rail companies advertised their routes and services on simple
printed sheets. By the 1850s, with increasing competition and improvements in printing technology, pictorial designs were
being incorporated in their advertising posters. The use of graphic artists began to influence the design of the pictorial
poster. In 1905, the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) commissioned Norman Wilkinson to produce artwork for a new
landscape poster, advertising their rail/steam packet link to Ireland. In 1908, for the Great Northern Railway (GNR),
John Hassall produced the famous image of the "Jolly Fisherman" with the "Skegness is so Bracing" slogan. The development
of this commercial art form throughout the first half of the 20th century reflected the changes in British society,
along with the changing styles of art, architecture and fashion as well as changing patterns of holidaymaking.
Advertising with posters can be a "poor mans advertising media" and sometimes, it seems any surface is suitable.
Posters advertising events have become common. Any sort of public event, from a rally to a play, may be advertised
with posters; a few types of events have become notable for their poster advertisements.
Boxing Posters were used in and around the actual venue to advertise the forthcoming fight, date, ticket prices, and usually
consisted of pictures of each boxer. Boxing Posters vary in size and vibrancy, but are not usually smaller than 18x22 inches.
In the early days, few boxing posters survived the actual event and have thus become a collectible.
Many concerts, particularly rock concerts, have custom-designed posters that are used for advertisement of the event.
These often become collectors items as well.
Posters that showcase a person's favorite artist or music group are popular in teenagers' bedrooms, as well as in college
dorm rooms and apartments. Many posters have pictures of popular rock bands and artists.
Blacklight posters are designed to have a special effect under a blacklight (ultraviolet light).
Pinup posters , "pinups," or cheesecake posters are pictures of attractive women designed to be displayed, first coming to
popularity in the 1920s. The popularity of sexy pin-up girl posters has been erratic in recent decades. Pin-ups such as Betty
Grable and Jane Russell were highly popular with soldiers during World War II but much less so during the Vietnam War.
The late 1970s and into the beginning of the 1980s were boom years for large posters of television actresses, especially
Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs.
This refers to decorative posters that are meant to be motivational and inspirational. One popular series has a black background,
a scene from nature, and a word such as "Leadership" or "Opportunity." Another version (usually framed and matted) uses a two-image
hologram which changes as the viewer walks past.
The goal of creating a Fanposter is to show all or a large portion of devoted fans on one poster which will be presented and can
be seen in a place where many other fans or members have access (hallway of a club house, fanzine, fan webpage, public place).
Book text on poster is a type of poster design where the entire text of a book (usually a novel) is printed in legible form.
This unique and modern design style is commonly characterized by a wall of text with a depiction of an important element of
the book by use of negative space, which in this case is also known as white space.
The resurgence of comic book popularity in the 1960s led to the mass production of comic book posters in the 1970s and onward.
These posters typically feature popular characters in a variety of action poses. The fact that comic books are a niche market
means that a given poster usually has a smaller printing run than other genres of poster. Therefore, older posters may be quite
sought after by collectors. Promotional posters are usually distributed folded, whereas retail posters intended for home
decoration are rolled.
Posters are used in academia to promote and explain research work. They are typically shown during conferences, either as a
complement to a talk or scientific paper, or as a publication. They are of lesser importance than actual articles, but they
can be a good introduction to a new piece of research before the paper is published. Poster presentations are often not
peer-reviewed, but can instead be submitted, meaning that as many as can fit will be accepted.
Posters are a standard feature of classrooms worldwide. A typical school in North America will display a variety,
including: advertising tie-ins (eg. an historical movie relevant to a current topic of study); alphabet and grammar;
numeracy and scientific tables; safety and other instructions; artwork and displays by the students.