We are often asked “when did the first Christian posters appear on the walls”. More often than not we are asked “When did the first posters in general appear?” Depending upon the age of the person asking the question their own opinion of when poster first appeared varies greatly. The older generation thinks they remember first seeing old movie posters, movies from the 20”s and relate that to being probably the start of the poster craze. The younger generation seems to think posters began in the 50’s and 60’s with the rock and roll music singers or with the first Marilyn Monroe poster. The even younger generation thinks Michael Jordon started the sports poster craze. Here’s what www.blurtit.com has to say about it.
Posters were first invented in France during the mid 19th century. Although the first poster was printed by a French gentleman called Jules Cheret in the year 1897. When they first came out they were used to promote new products that were being manufactured in France, for theatre and operas that were to be staged. Within a span of a few years the trend spread to the rest of Europe. Cheret used the 4 color lithographic printing method to manufacture the first ‘printed poster’ which brought together not just images but also text. Once the printing press had advanced and could function more efficiently, posters were printed bulk in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. The first poster that was ever printed by Jules Cheret was in 1858 called ‘Orphée aux Enfants.’
But we have a different idea about when “posters” first appear on the walls. Posters are meant to convey a thought or an idea, to get someone to think, react, or be motivated to do something. Well what about the cave man who scratched messages on cave walls? Wasn’t he trying to influence his family with a message? Many of those cave writings were about the God or Spirit they believed in, we might now be able to call them Christian Posters but surely we could call them inspiration writings on the wall. InspirationArt started designing and printing posters in 1994 with our first poster Crucified and we believe we were a major player in the development of the Christian Poster industry. We hope you enjoy our posters and that they have an impact on your life and your faith.
It’s been said that if you want to know where your children’s heads are at just look at the posters that are on their walls. Scary thought! I’ve seen some pretty provocative posters out there. If posters have that kind of influence then why not have an positive influence on your children, and on their friends, by putting up Scripture based posters on the wall?
If a picture is worth a thousand words then what’s the value of a great picture with scripture? If kids want to admire someone by putting their picture on the wall why not have it be a picture of Jesus with Scripture attached to it?
At InspirationArt we try hard not to just produce posters but to produce thought provoking posters that deliver a message with an impact. Hours go into the design, scripture selection, and the graphic look of each poster.
When people tell us that “Your poster hanging over my son’s bed while he was in the hospital, gave me strength to be with him each day even as he was in a coma”, our posters are a ministry by themselves. We’ve heard from hundreds of people around the world telling us of the effect the poster has had on them.
With well over a million posters of the Names of Christ hanging on walls all over the world we are convinced that God’s word on the wall has a major impact in the lives of people around the world.
Our goal is to have people look at the poster you purchase and say “I didn’t know the Bible said that, I wonder what else it says?” We feel honored when they say how powerful the poster has been in their lives.
We are called to share God’s love, His word, and His Son with everyone we come into contact with, why not start with a poster on your wall? Take a look at each of our posters and decide for yourself if there is a poster that can minister to you or your family.
WHY MUST THE DESIGN TIE TOGETHER WITH THE SCRIPTURE?
Seems like the answer to that question is really obvious. It wouldn’t work otherwise, but does it always work that way. We think so. And we work really hard at trying to make sure the scripture or the copy works well with the design. Take a look at our poster POWERFUL, here is a good example of how the copy (the word POWERFUL) fits perfectly with the photograph of Niagara Falls and the scripture, Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” Water has enormous power and so does God and using the word POWERFUL really helps tie the three elements together. In this case the words, scripture and photograph are not subtle at all, but very direct and to the point. So is God’s power, direct and to the point.
Sometimes the concept or designs are not quite so subtle. Take a look at our poster GOD REMAINED. The copy in this case is not scripture but a poem. It’s a poem describing the Bible in just 50 words. I think the artist did a great job of communicating the message that God remains with us by depicting the image of Jesus Christ on the cross but just changing the color of the type from black to white. Creative? Extremely!
Our Christian poster LIFE PRESERVER , is another creative example of creativity in a very subtle way. The life jacket has been recreated in the shape of a cross, showing us that Christ’ s death on the cross is the only thing that can really save us. And the scripture again reminds us of who can only save us. Psalm 119:94 Save me, for I am yours…
FOLLOW ME, is another Christian poster of ours that makes the statement that we all, regardless of race, color, creed, age or sex, must follow the cross and Jesus Christ.
Our best selling Christian Poster: Names of Christ
It would be nice to be able to say that we intended to design a poster that would be so powerful and so successful that it would sell over a million copies. However we did not have that in mind. Our goal was to design a poster that would glorify Christ and what better way to do that than to make a complete list of the names of Christ. We also wanted the recipient of the poster to be able to find in the Bible where the name came from and just how it was used and to understand the context in which it was used. That’s the reason for the Bible references below each name. We also wanted it to look like an ancient scroll and in order to accomplish that, we took a piece of parchment paper and literally burned the edges on all four sides and then laid that paper on sand and photographed it from there. While we thought about putting the names in alphabetical order it just didn’t work graphical that way. It’s also interesting that while we didn’t place the names in alphabetical order it worked out that the name “Advocate” starts the listings out and we ended with the strong and powerful “The Way, the Truth, and the Life” at the end. Often I have gone back to the poster and looked at a name and it causes me to grab a Bible and look it up again. Each time I do that I am taken back by the power of the name and the context of the scripture. The poster is really a teaching tool, a daily devotion, a prayer, and a piece of art all rolled into one. I have seen the “Names of Christ” poster nearly everywhere, from dorm rooms to church entryways to pastors’ offices. Many times it is framed and hung in an entry way into homes. This poster has become a ministry of its’ own. It’s a case of powerful scripture and excellent design which has the emotional tie to all Christians.
WHICH TRANSLATION SHOULD BE USED AND WHY?
We try very hard to make sure the scripture fits perfectly with the graphic we have selected. I remember having an idea for a poster and the graphic was a beautiful picture of a forest but all the scriptures we found never used the word forest instead just used the word tree, so it was never printed because we just couldn’t find the perfect scripture to fit.
WHY SOME OF MY FAVORITES DON’T SELL
Well the truth is they all sell, some just sell better than others. But they all have sold at least a few. One I can think of sold very few. We went back and forth with the artist who insisted on making sure the art she provided was positioned and used exactly as she wanted it used. We kept saying it wouldn’t work that way…we were right….it sold maybe 10 copies.
But my favorite didn’t sell either. FATHER FORGIVE THEM, was the title of the poster. It showed a picture of the first atom bomb test in 1945 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The scripture we tied to that photo was “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. Jesus’ words on the cross. I thought it made perfectly good sense. I’ll let you think about that for a minute. But it was out of context. Probably the reason it didn’t sell well. Or maybe it was a little too political.
A couple of others favorites ONCE UPON A TANDEM and LOVE CAN WAIT also didn’t sell well. The tandem poster was just too much copy to read and we called Jesus Christ, “JC” and that probably did that poster in. LOVE CAN WAIT, great concept, poor execution, but that was 10 or more years ago and we have learned a lot since then.
The obvious good sellers were Ten Commandments, Born Again, In the beginning God, I AM, and Names of God, which is a different poster than the Names of Christ poster.
Why are we in the Christian Poster business?
It all started in 1994 with a painting my step-son painted for his Grandfather, a retired minister, called Crucified. At the time I owned a high quality commercial printing company and thought we should make reprints of the art and see if we could sell them. I took a copy of the print to a local Christian Bookstore and asked if they thought it would make a good poster for resale. “No” was the answer! It was too small (16×20) and it didn’t contain scripture. So we went back to the drawing board increased the size to 24×36 and added scripture to the bottom of the poster. Shortly thereafter an artist submitted 17 ideas in transparencies with poster already designed and complete with scripture. He had submitted them to another company and had been rejected by the other company, who felt like Christinan posters wouldn’t be a good idea, especially in the Christian marketplace. And as you might guess the rest is history.
It’s strange, or destiny, depending on your personal beliefs, but it seems like I was cut out to be a Christian poster publisher. My father put a camera in my hands when I was in third grade and built a darkroom for me, so I’ve had a love for photography for over 50 years. Along the way I got into the Advertising Agency business along with the printing company and learned how to work with artists and designers of graphic arts. The printing company developed a reputation for extremely high quality printing and that has carried over into the quality of the posters at InspirationArt.
At age 42 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and turned back to the church I had been raised in, and a few years later married the preacher’s daughter. It was a natural progression to develop InspirationArt into a graphic ministry. Our goal is to put the word of God on the wall. Everywhere!
The posters are now sold world-wide.
Before the flood of June 2008, InspirationArt had over 200 poster designs and was selling posters in Christian Bookstores around the world. The flood, the second greatest natural disaster in US history at that time, nearly closed the business. We lost all the inventory in 84” of water, but God has been good to us and we are back in business and determined to be bigger and better than before the flood.
If you don’t see a poster you like, write us, call us, or email us we may have one on the drawing board that fits your needs. Thanks for you order and may God richly bless you!