The 1976 Poster Biennale In Warsaw

Poster Biennale 1
Second from the left: Kazumasa Nagai
Third from the left: Milton Glaser

The Sixth International Poster Biennale in Warsaw had more than 3,100 submissions from 47 countries, making it one of the largest international poster competitions of its time.

Showcased in Graphis Magazine 186, the competition took place during a time when poster designers felt threatened by the onslaught of mass media, particularly television, which had already spurred the decline of posters in some countries.

Nevertheless, the 1976 Poster Biennale served as a reminder of the poster’s prominence in commercial art, and as a medium to convey a designer’s personal message. In the Graphis article, the late Polish designer Jan Lenica writes that by the mid-1970s designers creating posters with only the client’s point of view was fading.

“Those times have now gone by,” Lenica writes. “Today the poster artist — particularly if he belongs to the younger generation — is not content with transmitting the opinions of others. He insists on presenting us with his own vision.”

Visionary designers that submitted their work include Karl Domenig Geissbuhler, Kazumasa Nagai, Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, and Jean Robert.

Poster Biennale 2
Left: Saul Bass
Author: Kayla Harris for Graphis

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