Poetics of the Poster

BookPoetics of the Poster

Poetics of the Poster

The Rhetoric of Image-Text

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 16


December 21st, 2010





This book sets out to explore the way, with the onset of a new and integral relationship between text and image, the modern poster is able to evolve distinctive persuasive strategies that will transform modern advertising. The book shows how this fundamental development is closely related to contemporary developments in the visual arts – in particular Futurism and Art Deco – and reflects the increasing cross-fertilisation and symbiosis between art and graphic design. The book focuses in particular on the way conventional textual strategies – metaphor, metonymy, rebus – are adapted by the modern poster to produce visual or textual/visual equivalents which, through their employment of combined pictorial and linguistic elements maximise their attractive or persuasive power over the viewer/reader. A key aim of the book is to clarify the assumptions on which semiology (the study of signs) is based in the context of modern poster artists’ practice. The text/image relation is explored through five chapters focussing on (1) the rhetoric of image/text in general; (2) text and image in airline logos: British Airways and Air France; (3) visual metonymies in boxing posters; (4) text and image in posters expressing speed; (5) text/image in Swiss tourist posters. There are approximately 120 colour illustrations arranged in groups that reflect the different orientations of the chapters.


Author Information

David Scott holds a personal chair in French (Textual and Visual Studies) at Trinity College Dublin. His previous publications include: Pictorialist Poetics, Cambridge University Press 1988 & 2009 Paul Delvaux Surrealizing the Nude, Reaktion Books (1992) Semiologies of Travel, Cambridge University Press(2004) The Art and Aesthetics of Boxing U. of Nebraska Press (2009),