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 also are used for reproductions of artwork, particularly famous works, and are generally low-cost compared to the original artwork. The modern poster, as we know it, however, dates back to the 1840s and 1850s when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible.
By the 1890s, poster art had widespread use, advertising everything from bicycles to bullfights. Many posters have had great artistic merit. These include the posters advertising consumer products and entertainment, but also events such as the World’s Fairs and Colonial Exhibitions.