As a scenographer I have to do a TON of visual research for every show that I work on. One of my favorite methods of historical research is looking to vintage drawings and paintings. My top resource these days is The Advertising Archives. Based out of the UK, this online resource is an amazing catalogue of vintage posters, magazines, books and advertisements.
You can download a water-printed image for free from the Archives or you can buy their images for a fee. Since most of my work is for research I just download, but there have been a few times that I needed a poster and the small fee was well worth the money.
In our modern age-where every fashion is repeating itself and movies and plays often set in past times-it is easy to think we already know how people dressed, or walked or talked “way back when”. In reality we can be way off. That is why it’s important as a designer to go back to the source and look at images produced during the time you are researching. Since Advertising Archives has more than 1 Million Images, I find myself using them a LOT. Below are some of my favorites that I have used to research different periods. Enjoy!!