IELTS|Upper-Intermediate|13. Works of art

Match the works of art and the places where you would expect to see each art form


Look at the title and subheading of the article you are going to read and discuss the questions

The history of the poster

The appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past two centuries.

1. Where do you normally see posters?

2. What do you think the purposes of posters are? Are they different from the purposes of other art forms?

3. How do you think the passage will be structured?

4. What do you expect to read in the article?

Skim the passage to find out what techniques for producing posters are mentioned

The history of the poster

The appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past two centuries.

The first posters were known as «broadsides» and were used for public and commercial announcements. Printed on one side only using metal type, they were quickly and crudely produced in large quantities. As they were meant to be read at a distance, they required large lettering.

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

There were a number of negative aspects of large metal type. It was expensive, required a large amount of storage space and was extremely heavy. If a printer did have a collection of large metal type, it was likely that there were not enough letters. So printers did their best by mixing and matching styles.

Commercial pressure for large type was answered with the invention of a system for wood type production. In 1827, Darius Wells invented a special wood drill — the lateral router — capable of cutting letters on wood blocks. The router was used in combination with William Leavenworth’s pantograph (1834) to create decorative wooden letters of all shapes and sizes. The first posters began to appear, but they had little colour and design; often wooden type was mixed with metal type in a conglomeration of styles.

A major development in poster design was the application of lithography, invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, which allowed artists to hand-draw letters, opening the field of type design to endless styles. The method involved drawing with a greasy crayon onto finely surfaced Bavarian limestone and offsetting that image onto paper. This direct process captured the artist’s true intention; however, the final printed image was in reverse. The images and lettering needed to be drawn backwards, often reflected in a mirror or traced on transfer paper.

As a result of this technical difficulty, the invention of the lithographic process had little impact on posters until the 1860s, when Jules Cheret came up with his «three-stone lithographic process». This gave artists the opportunity to experiment with a wide spectrum of colours. Although the process was difficult, the result was remarkable, with nuances of colour impossible in other media even to this day. The ability to mix words and images in such an attractive and economical format finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation.

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Starting in the 1870s, posters became the main vehicle for advertising prior to the magazine era and the dominant means of mass communication in the rapidly growing cities of Europe and America. Yet in the streets of Paris, Milan and Berlin, these artistic prints were so popular that they were stolen off walls almost as soon as they were hung. Cheret, later known as «the father of the modern poster», organised the first exhibition of posters in 1884 and two years later published the first book on poster art. He quickly took advantage of the public interest by arranging for artists to create posters, at a reduced size, that were suitable for in-home display.

Thanks to Cheret, the poster slowly took hold in other countries in the 1890s and came to celebrate each society’s unique cultural institutions: the cafe in France, the opera and fashion in Italy, festivals in Spain, literature in Holland and trade fairs in Germany. The first poster shows were held in Great Britain and Italy in 1894, Germany in 1896 and Russia in 1897. The most important poster show ever, to many observers, was held in Reims, France, in 1896 and featured an unbelievable 1,690 posters arranged by country.

In the early 20th century, the poster continued to play a large communication role and to go through a range of styles. By the 1950s, however, it had begun to share the spotlight with other media, mainly radio and print. By this time, most posters were printed using the mass production technique of photo offset, which resulted in the familiar dot pattern seen in newspapers and magazines. In addition, the use of photography in posters, begun in Russia in the twenties, started to become as common as illustration.

In the late fifties, a new graphic style that had strong reliance on typographic elements in black and white appeared. The new style came to be known as the International Typographic Style. It made use of a mathematical grid, strict graphic rules and black-and-white photography to provide a clear and logical structure. It became the predominant style in the world in the 1970s and continues to exert its influence today.

It was perfectly suited to the increasingly international post-war marketplace, where there was a strong demand for clarity. This meant that the accessibility of words and symbols had to be taken into account. Corporations wanted international identification, and events such as the Olympics called for universal solutions, which the Typographic Style could provide.

However, the International Typographic Style began to lose its energy in the late 1970s. Many criticised it for being cold, formal and dogmatic. A young teacher in Basel, Wolfgang Weingart, experimented with the offset printing process to produce posters that appeared complex and chaotic, playful and spontaneous — all in stark contrast to what had gone before. Weingart’s liberation of typography was an important foundation for several new styles. These ranged from Memphis and Retro to the advances now being made in computer graphics.

adapted from www.internationalposter.com

pic3_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Follow the instructions in the green box before answering Questions 1-5

1. Decide what type of information you need to complete each gap.

2. Identify the words/phrases which help you locate the answers in the passage.

3. Read those paragraphs carefully and answer Questions 1-5.

The history of the poster

The appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past two centuries.

The first posters were known as «broadsides» and were used for public and commercial announcements. Printed on one side only using metal type, they were quickly and crudely produced in large quantities. As they were meant to be read at a distance, they required large lettering.

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

There were a number of negative aspects of large metal type. It was expensive, required a large amount of storage space and was extremely heavy. If a printer did have a collection of large metal type, it was likely that there were not enough letters. So printers did their best by mixing and matching styles.

Commercial pressure for large type was answered with the invention of a system for wood type production. In 1827, Darius Wells invented a special wood drill — the lateral router — capable of cutting letters on wood blocks. The router was used in combination with William Leavenworth’s pantograph (1834) to create decorative wooden letters of all shapes and sizes. The first posters began to appear, but they had little colour and design; often wooden type was mixed with metal type in a conglomeration of styles.

A major development in poster design was the application of lithography, invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, which allowed artists to hand-draw letters, opening the field of type design to endless styles. The method involved drawing with a greasy crayon onto finely surfaced Bavarian limestone and offsetting that image onto paper. This direct process captured the artist’s true intention; however, the final printed image was in reverse. The images and lettering needed to be drawn backwards, often reflected in a mirror or traced on transfer paper.

As a result of this technical difficulty, the invention of the lithographic process had little impact on posters until the 1860s, when Jules Cheret came up with his «three-stone lithographic process». This gave artists the opportunity to experiment with a wide spectrum of colours. Although the process was difficult, the result was remarkable, with nuances of colour impossible in other media even to this day. The ability to mix words and images in such an attractive and economical format finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation.

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Starting in the 1870s, posters became the main vehicle for advertising prior to the magazine era and the dominant means of mass communication in the rapidly growing cities of Europe and America. Yet in the streets of Paris, Milan and Berlin, these artistic prints were so popular that they were stolen off walls almost as soon as they were hung. Cheret, later known as «the father of the modern poster», organised the first exhibition of posters in 1884 and two years later published the first book on poster art. He quickly took advantage of the public interest by arranging for artists to create posters, at a reduced size, that were suitable for in-home display.

Thanks to Cheret, the poster slowly took hold in other countries in the 1890s and came to celebrate each society’s unique cultural institutions: the cafe in France, the opera and fashion in Italy, festivals in Spain, literature in Holland and trade fairs in Germany. The first poster shows were held in Great Britain and Italy in 1894, Germany in 1896 and Russia in 1897. The most important poster show ever, to many observers, was held in Reims, France, in 1896 and featured an unbelievable 1,690 posters arranged by country.

In the early 20th century, the poster continued to play a large communication role and to go through a range of styles. By the 1950s, however, it had begun to share the spotlight with other media, mainly radio and print. By this time, most posters were printed using the mass production technique of photo offset, which resulted in the familiar dot pattern seen in newspapers and magazines. In addition, the use of photography in posters, begun in Russia in the twenties, started to become as common as illustration.

In the late fifties, a new graphic style that had strong reliance on typographic elements in black and white appeared. The new style came to be known as the International Typographic Style. It made use of a mathematical grid, strict graphic rules and black-and-white photography to provide a clear and logical structure. It became the predominant style in the world in the 1970s and continues to exert its influence today.

It was perfectly suited to the increasingly international post-war marketplace, where there was a strong demand for clarity. This meant that the accessibility of words and symbols had to be taken into account. Corporations wanted international identification, and events such as the Olympics called for universal solutions, which the Typographic Style could provide.

However, the International Typographic Style began to lose its energy in the late 1970s. Many criticised it for being cold, formal and dogmatic. A young teacher in Basel, Wolfgang Weingart, experimented with the offset printing process to produce posters that appeared complex and chaotic, playful and spontaneous — all in stark contrast to what had gone before. Weingart’s liberation of typography was an important foundation for several new styles. These ranged from Memphis and Retro to the advances now being made in computer graphics.

adapted from www.internationalposter.com


Exam tips

Table completion

1. Check how many words you are allowed to use.

2. Use the title to find the right part of the passage.

3. Write answers exactly as they are spelled in the passage to avoid spelling mistakes (American and British variants are both accepted).

Before completing Questions 6-9, do the tasks in the green box

pic4_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

1. Decide what type of information you need to complete each gap.

2. Find the correct part of the passage, read it carefully and answer Questions 6-9.

pic5_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Read the paragraphs and answer questions 6-9

 

The history of the poster

The appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past two centuries.

The first posters were known as «broadsides» and were used for public and commercial announcements. Printed on one side only using metal type, they were quickly and crudely produced in large quantities. As they were meant to be read at a distance, they required large lettering.

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

There were a number of negative aspects of large metal type. It was expensive, required a large amount of storage space and was extremely heavy. If a printer did have a collection of large metal type, it was likely that there were not enough letters. So printers did their best by mixing and matching styles.

Commercial pressure for large type was answered with the invention of a system for wood type production. In 1827, Darius Wells invented a special wood drill — the lateral router — capable of cutting letters on wood blocks. The router was used in combination with William Leavenworth’s pantograph (1834) to create decorative wooden letters of all shapes and sizes. The first posters began to appear, but they had little colour and design; often wooden type was mixed with metal type in a conglomeration of styles.

A major development in poster design was the application of lithography, invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, which allowed artists to hand-draw letters, opening the field of type design to endless styles. The method involved drawing with a greasy crayon onto finely surfaced Bavarian limestone and offsetting that image onto paper. This direct process captured the artist’s true intention; however, the final printed image was in reverse. The images and lettering needed to be drawn backwards, often reflected in a mirror or traced on transfer paper.

As a result of this technical difficulty, the invention of the lithographic process had little impact on posters until the 1860s, when Jules Cheret came up with his «three-stone lithographic process». This gave artists the opportunity to experiment with a wide spectrum of colours. Although the process was difficult, the result was remarkable, with nuances of colour impossible in other media even to this day. The ability to mix words and images in such an attractive and economical format finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation.

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Starting in the 1870s, posters became the main vehicle for advertising prior to the magazine era and the dominant means of mass communication in the rapidly growing cities of Europe and America. Yet in the streets of Paris, Milan and Berlin, these artistic prints were so popular that they were stolen off walls almost as soon as they were hung. Cheret, later known as «the father of the modern poster», organised the first exhibition of posters in 1884 and two years later published the first book on poster art. He quickly took advantage of the public interest by arranging for artists to create posters, at a reduced size, that were suitable for in-home display.

Thanks to Cheret, the poster slowly took hold in other countries in the 1890s and came to celebrate each society’s unique cultural institutions: the cafe in France, the opera and fashion in Italy, festivals in Spain, literature in Holland and trade fairs in Germany. The first poster shows were held in Great Britain and Italy in 1894, Germany in 1896 and Russia in 1897. The most important poster show ever, to many observers, was held in Reims, France, in 1896 and featured an unbelievable 1,690 posters arranged by country.

In the early 20th century, the poster continued to play a large communication role and to go through a range of styles. By the 1950s, however, it had begun to share the spotlight with other media, mainly radio and print. By this time, most posters were printed using the mass production technique of photo offset, which resulted in the familiar dot pattern seen in newspapers and magazines. In addition, the use of photography in posters, begun in Russia in the twenties, started to become as common as illustration.

In the late fifties, a new graphic style that had strong reliance on typographic elements in black and white appeared. The new style came to be known as the International Typographic Style. It made use of a mathematical grid, strict graphic rules and black-and-white photography to provide a clear and logical structure. It became the predominant style in the world in the 1970s and continues to exert its influence today.

It was perfectly suited to the increasingly international post-war marketplace, where there was a strong demand for clarity. This meant that the accessibility of words and symbols had to be taken into account. Corporations wanted international identification, and events such as the Olympics called for universal solutions, which the Typographic Style could provide.

However, the International Typographic Style began to lose its energy in the late 1970s. Many criticised it for being cold, formal and dogmatic. A young teacher in Basel, Wolfgang Weingart, experimented with the offset printing process to produce posters that appeared complex and chaotic, playful and spontaneous — all in stark contrast to what had gone before. Weingart’s liberation of typography was an important foundation for several new styles. These ranged from Memphis and Retro to the advances now being made in computer graphics.

adapted from www.internationalposter.com


Exam advice

Flow-chart completion

1. Use the title of the flow-chart to find the right part of the passage.

2. Check how many words you will need to fill each gap.

3. Underline the words you need in the passage and copy them exactly onto the answer sheet.

Underline the key ideas in Questions 10-13. Then scan and find the same or similar words in the passage

pic6_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

pic7_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Complete the Questions 10-13

The history of the poster

The appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past two centuries.

The first posters were known as «broadsides» and were used for public and commercial announcements. Printed on one side only using metal type, they were quickly and crudely produced in large quantities. As they were meant to be read at a distance, they required large lettering.

pic1_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

There were a number of negative aspects of large metal type. It was expensive, required a large amount of storage space and was extremely heavy. If a printer did have a collection of large metal type, it was likely that there were not enough letters. So printers did their best by mixing and matching styles.

Commercial pressure for large type was answered with the invention of a system for wood type production. In 1827, Darius Wells invented a special wood drill — the lateral router — capable of cutting letters on wood blocks. The router was used in combination with William Leavenworth’s pantograph (1834) to create decorative wooden letters of all shapes and sizes. The first posters began to appear, but they had little colour and design; often wooden type was mixed with metal type in a conglomeration of styles.

A major development in poster design was the application of lithography, invented by Alois Senefelder in 1796, which allowed artists to hand-draw letters, opening the field of type design to endless styles. The method involved drawing with a greasy crayon onto finely surfaced Bavarian limestone and offsetting that image onto paper. This direct process captured the artist’s true intention; however, the final printed image was in reverse. The images and lettering needed to be drawn backwards, often reflected in a mirror or traced on transfer paper.

As a result of this technical difficulty, the invention of the lithographic process had little impact on posters until the 1860s, when Jules Cheret came up with his «three-stone lithographic process». This gave artists the opportunity to experiment with a wide spectrum of colours. Although the process was difficult, the result was remarkable, with nuances of colour impossible in other media even to this day. The ability to mix words and images in such an attractive and economical format finally made the lithographic poster a powerful innovation.

pic2_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

Starting in the 1870s, posters became the main vehicle for advertising prior to the magazine era and the dominant means of mass communication in the rapidly growing cities of Europe and America. Yet in the streets of Paris, Milan and Berlin, these artistic prints were so popular that they were stolen off walls almost as soon as they were hung. Cheret, later known as «the father of the modern poster», organised the first exhibition of posters in 1884 and two years later published the first book on poster art. He quickly took advantage of the public interest by arranging for artists to create posters, at a reduced size, that were suitable for in-home display.

Thanks to Cheret, the poster slowly took hold in other countries in the 1890s and came to celebrate each society’s unique cultural institutions: the cafe in France, the opera and fashion in Italy, festivals in Spain, literature in Holland and trade fairs in Germany. The first poster shows were held in Great Britain and Italy in 1894, Germany in 1896 and Russia in 1897. The most important poster show ever, to many observers, was held in Reims, France, in 1896 and featured an unbelievable 1,690 posters arranged by country.

In the early 20th century, the poster continued to play a large communication role and to go through a range of styles. By the 1950s, however, it had begun to share the spotlight with other media, mainly radio and print. By this time, most posters were printed using the mass production technique of photo offset, which resulted in the familiar dot pattern seen in newspapers and magazines. In addition, the use of photography in posters, begun in Russia in the twenties, started to become as common as illustration.

In the late fifties, a new graphic style that had strong reliance on typographic elements in black and white appeared. The new style came to be known as the International Typographic Style. It made use of a mathematical grid, strict graphic rules and black-and-white photography to provide a clear and logical structure. It became the predominant style in the world in the 1970s and continues to exert its influence today.

It was perfectly suited to the increasingly international post-war marketplace, where there was a strong demand for clarity. This meant that the accessibility of words and symbols had to be taken into account. Corporations wanted international identification, and events such as the Olympics called for universal solutions, which the Typographic Style could provide.

However, the International Typographic Style began to lose its energy in the late 1970s. Many criticised it for being cold, formal and dogmatic. A young teacher in Basel, Wolfgang Weingart, experimented with the offset printing process to produce posters that appeared complex and chaotic, playful and spontaneous — all in stark contrast to what had gone before. Weingart’s liberation of typography was an important foundation for several new styles. These ranged from Memphis and Retro to the advances now being made in computer graphics.

adapted from www.internationalposter.com

[/bg_collapse]


Questions 10-13

Do the following statements agree with the information in the reading passage?

Choose:

  • True if the statement agrees with the information
  • False if the statement contradicts the information
  • Not given if there is no information on this

Exam tips

T/F/NG questions

1. Quickly find the part of the passage that deals with each statement. You should be able to find this, even when the answer is ‘Not given’.

2. The answers may all be located in one part of the passage or they may occur at different points across the whole passage.

pic4_Adults|Grammar|Pre-Int|L12

Complete these sentences from the passage using make, take, do or have in the correct form

Watch the video and do the test below

From 1890 to 1900 Europe and America were in a frenzy over a new form advertising, a new form of art, the color advertising poster. The streets of Paris became filled with wonderful colorful images created by some of the most talented artists of the day. It was all started by Jules Cheret, the father of the poster, who did over a thousand posters. He perfected color lithography and his designs were seen all over Paris, which was then the center of the art universe.

This was Paris at the time of the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergere of the Divine Sarah Bernhardt and the alluring Yvette Guilbert — of the great artists on ray de Toulouse-Lautrec, the most famous artists of the era, and Alphonse Mucha, the father of Art Nouveau. And later, Cappiello, the father of modern advertising, each creating poster masterpieces.

The poster was new and streets of Paris were like a public art gallery advertising everything from cabarets to lamp oil. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the cities were filled with a new middle class, which wanted to put art in their homes. The poster printers saw the interest and printed extra posters which were sold by print dealers. This is how the early posters survived.

Posters were inexpensive and decorative and people wanted to collect them. There were poster shows and exhibitions drawing thousands of visitors. There were poster collecting clubs and poster publications all over Europe and the United States. Antique posters are still collected to this day. These early posters are like windows to a time gone by, a time to be remembered, the beautiful era, the Belle Epoque.



Choose the IELTS Speaking part you would like to practise

Speaking Part 1 Questions

  1. Do you have any posters at home? What of?
  2. What are your favourite posters? Why do you like them?
  3. What was the original purpose of your favourite posters?
  4. Which do you prefer: modern posters or posters from the past? Why?

Describe the art form which you think will be popular with the public in the future.

You should say:

  • what it is;
  • what its characteristic features are;
  • how it will develop;

and why you think it will enjoy popularity.

Questions for discussion after Speaking Part 2

1. Who buys posters today? Will they be popular in the future?

2. Why are some forms of art more popular than others?

  1. to do one’s best
  2. to do business with
  3. to do damage to
  4. to do research on
  5. to have advantages for
  6. to have choice
  7. to have an impact on
  8. to take advantage of
  9. to take into account
  10. to take action on
  11. to make advances in
  12. to make mistakes with
  13. to make a profit from
  14. to make use of

pic3_IELTS|Int|L19

Complete these sentences with the correct form of make, take, do or have, and the words in the box

Skim the passage below about photography and advertising and get acquainted with its structure and content

pic8_IELTS|Upper-Int|L13

A brief history of photography in advertising

Commercial photography has long had a significant place in the history of photography, and the advertising industry has been its largest benefactor.

In the late 19th century, photography was used only rarely to advertise products or businesses. Photographs occasionally appeared on business cards or as small informative pictures in catalogues and magazines, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that advertisers began to realise the enormous potential of this relatively new medium. At first, most preferred to use a «reason why» strategy, with the result that their photographs just showed consumers the benefits of the product. However, when advertising psychologists in the early 20th century demonstrated that consumers were open to suggestion, they provided support for a new suggestive advertising strategy, often called «atmosphere advertising». Some more adventurous advertisers had already been experimenting with this, arguing that photographs did not need to show what a product could do, but could instead create a mood or feeling that people would associate with that product.

One of the inspirations for this strategy was American illustrator and photographer John Hiller who, in the early 1900s, was illustrating stories in women’s magazines with photographs. He employed a soft focus technique, and used dramatic lighting and complex stage sets to create visually stunning pictures. His style was revolutionary for the time, and it gradually occurred to advertisers that this type of picture would be ideal for illustrating advertisements. As a result, photographs in advertisements suddenly became very popular. In 1920, fewer than 15 percent of illustrated advertisements in mass-circulated magazines employed photographs. By the end of the decade, this figure had soared to about 80 percent.

The tremendous new market for advertising photography provided a wealth of business opportunities for professional photographers. Clarence White, a successful pictorial photographer, led the way in training commercial photographers at his school in New York. He encouraged his students to apply a fine-art style of photography to industrial and commercial design, combining (as he put it) «beauty and utility». Some of his students went on to become New York’s top commercial photographers. They practised a modernist style based on close-up views, spare geometric compositions, unusual vantage points and sharp focus that dominated advertising photography for the next twenty years. It was also at this time that images of real-life situations began to be used in advertising, a trend that became especially popular in the 1930s when the economic disaster of the Great Depression prompted advertisers to adopt the qualities of sincerity and realism in advertising imagery. The 1930s also saw technological progress in colour photography, and when commercial colour film went on sale for the first time in 1935, the widespread use of colour in advertising photography suddenly became much more affordable.

The dominant and most highly paid commercial photographer of the 1920s and 1930s was Edward Steichen. Like Clarence White, Steichen had been a pictorialist art photographer who turned to commerce. In 1923 he landed two commercial photography contracts ? to produce fashion and celebrity portrait photographs for Conde Nast periodicals, and to produce advertising photographs for J. Walter Thompson, a major advertising agency. Over the next twenty years, he built up a huge client list, which included makers of beauty products, packaged foods, cars, jewellery and soaps. He was one of the first commercial photographers to work in close collaboration with his art directors, convincing them to look beyond conventional uses of photography in advertising (pictorialism for romance and suggestion; straight photography for information and reason-why). During his long career, he evolved a persuasive photography style that projected ideals, aspirations and obvious fantasies, but made them seem attainable.

By the 1940s, advertising was seriously big business, and vastly increased budgets meant that photographers working for the business could be more and more ambitious and experimental. The two best-known commercial photographers at this time were Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. While both continued to use photographic modernism in their advertising photography, they developed highly personal styles. Penn’s pictures were characterised by a minimalist style which projected an image of calm elegance. Avedon’s photographs were much more dynamic and conveyed an important message: the world was changing, and it was changing very quickly. His work, perhaps more than any other, was to influence future commercial photographers, and his style is still very popular today.

Commercial photography in the 1960s was less stylistically unified than in previous decades. It also saw a greater emphasis on internationalism and greater collaboration with art directors. Furthermore, there were huge changes in beliefs and attitudes, especially with regard to the way we behaved, or the way we saw ourselves and others. The advertising industry could not ignore this, with the result that newer representations of things like gender roles took their place alongside traditional ones. This set the tone for advertising photography in the remaining decades of the 20th century.

Advertising around the turn of the 21st century provoked new content-based controversies. Where mid-20th century advertising photography was often criticised for promoting overly traditional visions of life or unrealistic material aspirations, criticism of today’s advertising has targeted images that glamorise unhealthy lifestyles. Criticism has also been directed at advertisements that appear to be trying to shock, offend or provoke rather than sell a product. One well-known clothing company, for example, received a lot of negative attention when it used powerful images of prisoners, refugees and a blood-covered T-shirt in a series of advertisements. These became notorious for their provocative content and led to a re-evaluation of what should and shouldn’t be acceptable in advertising.


Read the task in the green box and complete questions 1-5

Questions 1-5

Complete the table below.

Choose no more than three words from the passage for each answer.


Exam tips

Table completion

1. Check how many words you are allowed to use.

2. Use the title to find the right part of the passage.

3. Write answers exactly as they are spelled in the passage.

Read the tasks in the green box and complete questions 6-13

Questions 6-9

Complete the flow chart below.

Choose no more than three words from the passage for each answer.


A brief history of photography in advertising

Commercial photography has long had a significant place in the history of photography, and the advertising industry has been its largest benefactor.

In the late 19th century, photography was used only rarely to advertise products or businesses. Photographs occasionally appeared on business cards or as small informative pictures in catalogues and magazines, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that advertisers began to realise the enormous potential of this relatively new medium. At first, most preferred to use a «reason why» strategy, with the result that their photographs just showed consumers the benefits of the product. However, when advertising psychologists in the early 20th century demonstrated that consumers were open to suggestion, they provided support for a new suggestive advertising strategy, often called «atmosphere advertising». Some more adventurous advertisers had already been experimenting with this, arguing that photographs did not need to show what a product could do, but could instead create a mood or feeling that people would associate with that product.

One of the inspirations for this strategy was American illustrator and photographer John Hiller who, in the early 1900s, was illustrating stories in women’s magazines with photographs. He employed a soft focus technique, and used dramatic lighting and complex stage sets to create visually stunning pictures. His style was revolutionary for the time, and it gradually occurred to advertisers that this type of picture would be ideal for illustrating advertisements. As a result, photographs in advertisements suddenly became very popular. In 1920, fewer than 15 percent of illustrated advertisements in mass-circulated magazines employed photographs. By the end of the decade, this figure had soared to about 80 percent.

The tremendous new market for advertising photography provided a wealth of business opportunities for professional photographers. Clarence White, a successful pictorial photographer, led the way in training commercial photographers at his school in New York. He encouraged his students to apply a fine-art style of photography to industrial and commercial design, combining (as he put it) «beauty and utility». Some of his students went on to become New York’s top commercial photographers. They practised a modernist style based on close-up views, spare geometric compositions, unusual vantage points and sharp focus that dominated advertising photography for the next twenty years. It was also at this time that images of real-life situations began to be used in advertising, a trend that became especially popular in the 1930s when the economic disaster of the Great Depression prompted advertisers to adopt the qualities of sincerity and realism in advertising imagery. The 1930s also saw technological progress in colour photography, and when commercial colour film went on sale for the first time in 1935, the widespread use of colour in advertising photography suddenly became much more affordable.

The dominant and most highly paid commercial photographer of the 1920s and 1930s was Edward Steichen. Like Clarence White, Steichen had been a pictorialist art photographer who turned to commerce. In 1923 he landed two commercial photography contracts ? to produce fashion and celebrity portrait photographs for Conde Nast periodicals, and to produce advertising photographs for J. Walter Thompson, a major advertising agency. Over the next twenty years, he built up a huge client list, which included makers of beauty products, packaged foods, cars, jewellery and soaps. He was one of the first commercial photographers to work in close collaboration with his art directors, convincing them to look beyond conventional uses of photography in advertising (pictorialism for romance and suggestion; straight photography for information and reason-why). During his long career, he evolved a persuasive photography style that projected ideals, aspirations and obvious fantasies, but made them seem attainable.

By the 1940s, advertising was seriously big business, and vastly increased budgets meant that photographers working for the business could be more and more ambitious and experimental. The two best-known commercial photographers at this time were Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. While both continued to use photographic modernism in their advertising photography, they developed highly personal styles. Penn’s pictures were characterised by a minimalist style which projected an image of calm elegance. Avedon’s photographs were much more dynamic and conveyed an important message: the world was changing, and it was changing very quickly. His work, perhaps more than any other, was to influence future commercial photographers, and his style is still very popular today.

Commercial photography in the 1960s was less stylistically unified than in previous decades. It also saw a greater emphasis on internationalism and greater collaboration with art directors. Furthermore, there were huge changes in beliefs and attitudes, especially with regard to the way we behaved, or the way we saw ourselves and others. The advertising industry could not ignore this, with the result that newer representations of things like gender roles took their place alongside traditional ones. This set the tone for advertising photography in the remaining decades of the 20th century.

Advertising around the turn of the 21st century provoked new content-based controversies. Where mid-20th century advertising photography was often criticised for promoting overly traditional visions of life or unrealistic material aspirations, criticism of today’s advertising has targeted images that glamorise unhealthy lifestyles. Criticism has also been directed at advertisements that appear to be trying to shock, offend or provoke rather than sell a product. One well-known clothing company, for example, received a lot of negative attention when it used powerful images of prisoners, refugees and a blood-covered T-shirt in a series of advertisements. These became notorious for their provocative content and led to a re-evaluation of what should and shouldn’t be acceptable in advertising.


Read the exam task in the green box and complete questions 10-13

Questions 10-13

Do the following statements agree with the information in the reading passage?

Choose:

  • True if the statement agrees with the information
  • False if the statement contradicts the information
  • Not given if there is no information on this

Exam tips

Flow chart completion

1. Use the title of the flow chart to find the right part of the passage.

2. Check how many words you will need to fill each gap.

3. Underline the words you need in the passage and copy them exactly onto the answer sheet.


Exam tips

T/F/NG questions

1. Quickly find the part of the passage that deals with each statement. You should be able to find this, even when the answer is ‘Not given’.

2. The answers may all be located in one part of the passage or they may occur at different points across the whole passage.

Listen to the student doing the IELTS Speaking Part 3 and match the recordings to the questions 1-3

pic13_IELTS|Upper-Int|L6

In my view, it’s to do with how easy they are to understand and relate to. Take music, for example; this is an art form that enjoys wide appeal. I believe that is because the process of getting to the point where you enjoy the music, on a basic level, is fairly simple; you just listen to it — then it’s easy enough to decide whether or not you like it. Other art forms, though, such as theatre, require a little more attention; sometimes the plot of a play can be hard to follow, or sometimes the language can be very complex; this demands a lot more of our attention and some people might not be prepared to put in the time in order to get to the point where they can understand and appreciate what’s going on. Plus, there’s also the money factor; theatre tickets can be rather expensive.

Yes and No. I think many kinds of art are associated with the so-called ‘educated class’; you know, the academics, in one way or another. I mean, I think some people are under the mistaken impression that liking art sort of validates them as intellectuals. As a consequence, art gets talked about in very high-level language and you have these ‘experts’ who read all sorts of things into paintings and so on. But do you have to be super intelligent to appreciate art? Of course not! Art stimulates the visual senses and we can all decide for ourselves what we find appealing to look at, on whatever level that may be. The opinion of a person who just likes a painting because it looks nice is no less valid than some art critic who goes around finding hidden meanings and symbolism that the artist himself might not ever have intended.


Well, I cannot imagine that people will ever get tired of reading books, so I think literature is a certainty to be very popular. It’s doubtful whether film will remain as popular as it is now though, if you ask me; specifically, I mean cinema; I think with large television screens getting more and more affordable, the trend will be towards home cinema rather than traditional film theatres, which will likely see a slump in attendance figures, and this will have an impact on the types and quality of films made. Similarly, I think theatre will operate in a small niche; already places like the West End price most people out of the equation anyway — theatre tickets are very expensive. I think in the future most people will look more and more towards the internet as a source of entertainment, so while I’m not ruling out virtual theatre, I don’t see a big future for the traditional form. I feel quite certain that music will remain forever one of the most popular art forms, and dance is also attractive to people as a way to socialise and have fun — with the added bonus that it keeps us fit and healthy, too — so it probably has a bright future.


Read the statements and mark them as True or False

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Designed to attract
  • Poster production
  • Printing methods
  • Making posters
  • The Typographic Style
  • Make or do, take or have
  • Is it a masterpiece?
  • Exerting an influence
  • History of photography
  • Photo and ads
  • Popular art