The evolution of political posters: which colours work?

How have campaign posters influenced your political views?

This content was published on January 11, 2021 - 16:00

The traditional political poster remains one of the most important tools of political persuasion in referendum campaigns in Switzerland.

There is one factor that stands out when looking at more than 600 posters used in the last century – the use of colour. The more limited colour palette in the pre-1950s era doesn’t mean they were less effective though. Bold, simple messaging was used to convey political positions.

The rise of advertising agencies in the 1960s changed this though as posters came to look more like advertisements, using graphic innovation, colourful imagery and vague messages. The 1990s brought about a return to the provocative rhetoric and the stark black and white colour palettes of a century ago. The approach has not always won fans though especially on highly divisive issues.

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