Italian and French artist, posterist, cartoonist, designer.
9 April 1875 – February 1942
Called the father of modern advertising.
in poster design
A design revolution took place in France in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, largely due to the name of Leonetto Cappiello, whose work became so influential that he is often referred to as the father of modern advertising.
The early advertising poster was characterized by a painterly quality as evidenced by early poster artists Jules Chéret, Alfred Choubrac and Hugo D’Alesi. Cappiello worked in a way that was almost the opposite of his predecessors.
He was the first POSTER artist to use BOLD figures popping out of BLACK backgrounds, a startling contrast to the posters early norm.

La vie et l'œuvre

Leonetto Cappiello, was born on 9 April 1875, studied in Livorno and published his first album of caricatures in Italy in 1895.
He moved to Paris in 1898, where he began his career as a cartoonist, contributing to a number of newspapers. A year later, in 1899, he achieved enormous success with the publication of an album, Nos actrices, portraits synthétiques, published by La Revue blanche.


Cappiello started his career as a caricaturist illustrating in journals like Le Rire, Le Cri de Paris, Le Sourire, L’Assiette au Beurre, La Baionnette, Femina, and others. In 1898, he moved to Paris, and his caricatures were published in Le Rire for the first time.
Cappiello was an innovator and a non conformist, heavily rejecting the Art Nouveau style in his arts when Art Nouveau was a standard during the time.
His revolutionary understanding of art — the main product of advertising today — was based on the psychological effect of image, association. Cappiello was the first to consciously combine a product with an instantly recognisable 'icon' of the image.
In 1900, Cappiello began to move away from caricature work favouring posters.
Key: psychological effect of image, association
The Cappiello Style
Cappiello’s concept of poster art was simple, to simply engage audience faster by creating unconventional visual impact.
He was the first poster artist to boldly experiment and innovate new graphical styles at the time. His presentation was straight forward with use of enlarged bold subjects with unconventional colors, contrasted by the very dark background, which make his art "pop out".
His new functionalist style of graphic ART, in which a single BOLD image would be used to GRAB the viewer’s attention.
Main works
He arrested the attention of the passerby with incongruity, and as a result, effectively etched an image into their mind’s eye. He created an entirely new advertising vocabulary and his posters can be said to be fantastic — in a completely literal sense.
For the publisher Devambez, Cappiello designed his famous icons: such as Kub, Campari, Parapluie Revel, Pirelli, Chocolat Klaus and Poudre de Luzy, and the famous entertainer Mistinguett at the Casino de Paris.
advertising posters produced Cappiello over the course of his career
more than
Today, his original posters are still COLLECTED, sold at auction and by dealers around the WORLD.
Taja Stoll
Non-commercial project. All pictures belong to their authors.
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