The history of posters also includes the history of animal images. The APG|SGA ePoster Gallery brings the charm of historical animal posters to life, with stories that date back to the last century and recent poster history. The virtual exhibition that opened today came about in collaboration with the poster collection of the Museum of Design Zurich, and its aim is to explore animal symbolism in advertising. The biodiverse selection of posters was researched and arranged by Nico Lazúla Baur, a documenter of the poster collection. It’s an animal adventure!
Seldom has there been such a boom in pet ownership in this country as during the pandemic lockdown. Nearly half of Swiss households now keep animals as pets. The rush to the pet shops reflects the psychological relationship between man and beast. This relationship affects everyone and everything – animal companions, encounters in natural surroundings, loss of biodiversity and animal protection. A look at the history of advertising in the APG|SGA ePoster Gallery shows that the advertisers of past eras also made skilful use of the psychological effects of fur, scales and feathers to tap into consumers’ emotions. Nico Lazúla Baur (archivist for the Museum of Design Zurich, Collections, Department for Cultural Analysis and Dissemination) tells us how animals are used as key pictorial motifs in posters. She covers the entire spectrum of poster history, explaining the seductive effects of advertising with adorable animals, known in the trade as ‘cute marketing’. At the same time, she shines a spotlight on adverts with the opposite intention, where sewer rats or snarling attack dogs are used as creative symbols to appeal to the subconscious. An interesting fact: the ploys that worked fifty years ago still work to this day.
More poster history
Visit the virtual poster exhibition at the APG|SGA ePoster Gallery: ‘Tierisch gut’ [Animals in Advertising]
Part of the Museum of Design Zurich’s poster collection is available to view in its online catalogue.
Posters from the collection can also be ordered as reproductions for private use.
Panorama of poster art
The poster collection at the Museum of Design Zurich is one of the most important archives of its kind in the world. It contains around 350,000 objects, with about 120,000 digitally catalogued, all documenting the national and international history of the poster from its origins to the present day. From this pool, the APG|SGA eMuseum draws exhibits for its occasional virtual exhibitions, which have provided financial and cultural support for the museum for years now. The diversity of historical, thematic and geographic subjects results in both a panorama of poster art and a glimpse into a visual archive of day-to-day life.
- Nico Lazúla Baur (Documenter, Museum of Design Zurich, Collections, Department of Cultural Analysis and Mediation)
- Insight into the virtual exhibition.