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The history of Swiss political posters

Posters – in railway stations, on street corners or in newspapers – are one major way to drum up voter support in Switzerland. And that’s been the case for more than half a century in a country with four nationwide votes a year and elections every four years. 

The first posters are already showing up ahead of parliamentary elections in October of this year.

The history of political posters pre-dates graphic design, with hand-drawn illustrations often inspired by popular art of the day. Swiss myths also played their part, with figures out of traditional stories often depicted slaying perceived enemies and even Communist aggressors.

Later, realism and comics came into the mix, drawing on popular styles and depictions to try to persuade voters.

And today, creating political posters has become the job of design and marketing firms. But the job hasn’t changed: using simple but effective messages to make a voter consider the issue at hand.

(Swiss Broadcasting Corporation archives/Politbox) 

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