Among stocks of digital repositories belonging to the Digital Libraries Federation we can find really many different kinds of advertisement – some playcards, funny advertisements in old magazines, also posters. Products or way of encouraging to buy them may often seem quite peculiar and funny to the modern consumer, because we understand the art of advertisement or campaigns endorsing to certain activities in a completely different manner. However, advertisement is an important documentary of the social life, which enables to get to know people’s tastes in specific periods of time in the past. Moreover, trends like to make big come backs and that is the reason why it is worth to take a look at archival advertising posters, not only because of tidbits, but also inspirations.
As it was easy to predict, in terms of quantity in this case the National Digital Museum in Warsaw definitely leads and shares whole lot of beautiful, colourful posters and each of them deserve the name of piece of art. Many of them contain also detailed descriptions of their inception’s circumstances, for example Le Thermogéne engendre la chaleur et combat is a French advertising poster from the beginning of last century. Thermogene is a new product, which warmed up and eradicated cough, rheumatism and sting in a side. It is hard to say unequivocally if it was a kind of medical equipement or rather a kind of a warm cream. It is one of the most valuable pieces in Poster Museum collection – it is important because its author begun a new style which developed and existed even until 20s. Italian artist substituted a full of charm, fashionable Art Nouveau ornaments with plains of explicit colours. The new style eliminates everything redundant and splitting the attention, but the keeps the letters done with style. Second object, which also tells the story of a product, is an example of a modern advertising posters style: galanteria męska Hermanns & Froitzheim from 1911. Poster from the best period of Julius Kringer shows a graphic virtuosery – we can admire bold plain design, unusually up-to-date, frugal in means of motive and form. In the same digital museum we can find a Polish Poster Collection, where we can look at nevertheless esthetic and interesting graphics: Olive from Food Cooperative Union Społem from ca. 1935 r. by Edward Butrymowicz; a poster encouraging to use support fertilizers from 1926; or an advertisement of the action „I save money, and you?”, so a poster which was announced to be a main propaganda poster of the promotion action of saving money among Polish society in 1931. Printed by Self-government Publishing Institute in Warsaw and reproduced also on postcards, along with other posters, leaflets and books, was a part of expanded information system of Municipal Saving Checkouts – saving and credit institutions functioning in Poland until 1948.
Some interesting advertising posters can be also found in the National Digital Library POLONA: known till today Persil from Bydgoska Factory of Domestic Detergents “Pollena”, and two posters surprising modern reader because of a totally unusual dietary discourse – Nutricious value of beer and Eat sugar – who works a lot – needs a lot of sugar. Digital Library of UMCS
presents quite esthetically homogenous litographs: two of them are connected with the development of gas industry in Poland – Cook with gas and The best bath – by gas! and advertisement of wool and yarn by brand Trójkąt w kole from 1933. The last presented playbill was shared by Centralna Baza Judaików – it is a colourful poster – Schweppes Xmas Prestige Advertisement in winter scenery.