The best Art Deco posters – a top 10

I recently buried myself in the book The Art Deco Poster by William W Crouse – a big coffee table book that celebrates this golden era of poster design. It showcases designers in the 1920s and 30s using the medium to create real drama, often with relatively few elements.

The more I studied them the more I appreciated them, so here are my top 10 favourite Art Deco posters from that book. Arranged in no particular order and with a note saying why I think each works so well.

 

Aeroput Jugoslavija by Hans Wagula (1930)

An elegantly clean night/day comparison between transport modes. Still looks like a modern illustration style today.

Aeroput Jugoslavija by Hans Wagula

 

Cie air union lignes d'orient by Jean Olivier (1929)

A great piece of minimalism, showing what can be achieved with a few lines. Would love to do something this simple.

Cie air union lignes d'orient by Jean Olivier

 

Donnet by Alexey Brodovitch (1925)

Manages to be very atmospheric and to convey wealth through the silhouettes. Fun typography too.

Donnet by Alexey Brodovitch

 

Delahaye by Roger Perot (1932)

Great position and perspective to show the car bearing down toward you. Really strong font and the angle creates dynamism.

Delahaye by Roger Perot

 

Austin Reed: 13 Fenchurch St by Tom Purvis

Turns the figure of the man into something epic and giant-like. Great lighting.

Austin Reed: 13 Fenchurch St by Tom Purvis

 

Cordial Campari by Macello Nizzoli (1926)

The saturated colours and a the dark surroundings really help this still life approach stand out. Great combination of three fonts.

Cordial Campari by Macello Nizzoli

 

Normandie: Voyage Inaugural by A M Cassandre (1935)

This is a classic (and on the cover of the book) and can't be beaten for creating impressive drama and scale – Cassandre was a poster design genius.

Normandie: Voyage Inaugural by A M Cassandre

 

Exactitude by Pierre Fix-Masseau (1932)

Simple lines and shapes create this powerful train poster. Created by a designer who worked in Cassandre's studio so it shares that dramatic perspective style.

Exactitude by Pierre Fix-Masseau

  

Ski at Lake Placid by Sascha Maurer (1938)

Really fun way to put the type into the real world and to create a clear message.

Ski at Lake Placid by Sascha Maurer

 

Soviet Armenia by Anonymous (1929)

A contrast of the old and natural in the background with the new technology in the foreground, with the viaduct framing the shot and elevating the train over the mountain.

Soviet Armenia poster