Prominent French graphic designer Paul Colin designed this visually compelling poster in 1954 for Le Progres, a daily newspaper in Lyon, France. It brilliantly illustrates what print journalism looked like in the 1950s
The top half of the poster shows two journalists at work, intensely pursuing a story. One is writing in his notebook, and the other is kneeling with his large camera, taking photographs. Behind them are the telegraph wires that revolutionized long-distance communication, making it possible for journalists to share news around the world as it developed.
The drawing is at an angle, and the two journalists are leaning forward into the slope, making them appear undaunted in facing an uphill task. Their spare, angular profiles are dark red, changing to black, and are boldly outlined in white against a blue sky.
Under this illustration, the poster’s headline, designed to look like a newspaper masthead, proclaims Le Progres. Below this, the first “article” is titled “Pas de Progres, Sans le Progres” which translates as “No progress without Le Progres.”
During his long career, Paul Colin (1892-1986) designed hundreds of posters, as well as many theater sets and costume designs. Some of his best-known posters were made for jazz-age music and theater productions. His art deco style was often influenced by Cubism, as hinted at in this poster.
Colin managed to portray the intensity and dedication of journalists who, to this day, remain important figures in a democracy. Although the tools used by journalists have changed dramatically in the sixty-six years since this poster was published, their persistence and skills have not, and this poster is a tribute to those.
Because of its stylistic features, historic perspective and the reputation of the designer Paul Colin, this poster should be a part of all vintage poster collections.