So… you aren’t writing movie reviews for Rotten Tomatoes along with Peter Travers and A.O. Scott. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some screen-printed posters based on films and TV. Mondo, a screen printing company based in Texas, sells high-quality posters that offer an original artistic view of popular culture. The posters start around $60, which fits even a college kid’s budget, but can balloon to a few hundred, especially on eBay.
If you’re willing to spend a little more than the average college kid, check out some of the artwork from Olly Moss. He’s a guy who likes his work to speak for itself, and one look at a few of his posters for new movie and video game releases will convince you he’s serious about it—amazing shit. If you want to get your hands one of these limited edition pieces, which are all destined to go down in history as classics, look for posters Mondo produces.
Mondo’s & Olly Moss artwork is only screen printed and about as far from the cheap paper posters you get in the mail from Kellogg’s as Louis Vuitton is from a Walmart knockoff. Of course, with screen-printed work you pay more; but these pieces are extremely collectible and high quality. Not to mention silk screen printing has quickly become a lost art form that is amazing when you see it up close compared to digital copies. Olly’s work will run you between $100-$300 and, considering the collectible nature of the work and its interesting plays on popular culture, this is definitely worth the price.[separator][/separator]
Chances are you’ve come across a vintage poster or two in your time. You may even have fallen in love with one and hung it on your wall next to a picture of your latest love interest. They truly add character to a room and tell a story, but the background on this art goes deep, and it’s definitely worth educating yourself before you shell out any cash for one. There are the cheap replicas, and there are vintage Cappiello prints that start around $10,000. You need to know what you’re looking at so you don’t buy a cheap replica for $10,000 or more.
Screen printing artists first began to ply their trade in ancient China, but as far as modern living quarters are concerned, we’re more interested in the beautiful screen printing art that came out of the 1900’s or later. Today, screen printing is a process involving the application of different types of ink through a collection of screens. The art sent for printing is digitized and all of the colors in the piece are applied step by step. Screens used to be made of silk but are currently just polyester or nylon stretched over aluminum.
The modern screen printing trend started in Europe before making its way to the States. Leonetto Capiello, the “father of modern advertising,” became an early frontrunner in screen printing circles. Capiello was born in Italy, but moved to Paris to pursue his drawing talent. He started with caricature projects that were published as small books, all of which were used to spread the word of his talent. And spread the word they did, enabling Capiello to enter into the poster business with his first publishing house prior to WWI. After the war, the Capiello name grew larger and become synonymous with quality posters. He’s on record for having designed over 500 posters for different brands. You may think that today, Capiello posters are floating around everywhere, but over 100 years later, its very hard to find one in great condition. A Capiello piece will run you upwards of $8,000 at most auction houses and antique collection companies.
Marcello Nizzoli is another Italian artist known for his architecture and design just as much as his poster work. Nizzoli is credited with popularizing portable typewriters in the late 1950’s, as well as promoting other designs and forays into European modernism. The first aspect that jumps out about Nizzoli’s work is his simplicity in design and execution. His use of typography in his poster work is clean and successfully relays the company message and name without taking away from the artwork. His pieces hold a spot in the $3500+ range, which brings him under Capiello in price.
But not every guy is looking for century old advertising work from Italian designers. Those who want something more modern…more eclectic…are sure to find movie illustrator Robert McGinnis interesting. McGinnis is best known for his work with popular film franchise James Bond. Born and raised in Ohio, McGinnis graduated from Ohio State University and started his career as an apprentice at Disney Studios. His talent for translating this through art brought him an abundance of commissions for popular films, and his film posters are up there with some of the most collectible in the business. An original McGinnis Bond poster put up at auction 2 years ago brought in over $130,000. If you manage to find one of the Bond posters at auction, bidding will assuredly go above $10,000. Regardless, you can’t really put a price on James Bond memorabilia.
More recently, other approaches to poster artwork production—such as digital printing—have become popular. Digitally-printed media files can be pressed to many types of materials, from paper to cotton, and in a much shorter time. The process, often referred to as Giclée (pronounced “jzhee—clay” the ‘G’ makes the same noise as the ‘S” in “pleasure“), involves a high quality inkjet or Epson printer utilizing special types of ink to produce the poster. While digitally-printed artwork may be cheaper a couple times over, nothing beats the attention to detail and quality of screen printing artistry. Design and manufacturing in the United States is shifting towards mass production with less attention to craftsmanship, so the smartest of us will jump on some of these vintage pieces while they’re still around.