A1 1 Sheet (cca. 84 x 59 cm)
Fine, light fold marks and wear.
Typographical poster for the Budapest Fair (BNV) in 1965. The poster repeats the word fair in different languages: French, Spanish, German, Russian and English. Gábor Papp as the official designer of the Budapest International Fair’s posters, had to surprise his audience every year with a new poster and a new idea – meanwhile he had to give a constant and recognisable profile for the event.
Budapest International Fair is a traditional event series. The first one was held in 1906, and even though it was a smaller scale happening it proved to be an efficient tool for promoting and selling local products. In the following years the event received greater attention. Stationery, toys, fancy goods, porcelain, footwear and other products were showcased. Later on foreign traders became allowed to participate, but only with products that were not available in Hungary and not with the purpose of selling but exchanging knowledge about certain subjects. The fair gradually became larger and larger but after the First World War the process slowed down. However, the fairs were still organized because those played a crucial role in the improvement of world trade. Hungary was among the most significant fair organizer countries in the 1920s. Although the economy crisis did have an effect on the fairs, simultaneously with the progress of the economy, the breakthrough came for BNV. Each year something new was introduced. In 1938 Phillips came out with their new television or three years later Italy presented the maquette for Termini railway station. During World War II no fairs were held, but the plan was to reestablish them. In 1950 the government of the de facto communist leader Mátyás Rákosi did not want to invest in the fairs, but 5 years later the ice had broken and the so-called Budapest Local Industry Fair was born. In 1962 the fair’s original concept was restored and so was the name: Budapest International Fair. This poster was created for the very first traditional International Fair in the socialist Hungary.
The communist government was initially against the fairs they soon realized that they could use it for their own purpose. The socialist politicians used all possible platforms for propaganda, where they had a chance to spread their excessively and falsely optimistic message about the improving economy of the country. The preface of the event’s catalogue says the following: “ [...] Since 1906, when the first fair was organized in Budapest, these events have gone through serious changes. They have received a new content - in the recent years - they became the ‘shop-window’ of the almost complete cross section of the constantly improving people’s economy of the already liberated socialist Hungary [...] The Hungarian economy presents products at the fair that sincerely demonstrate the quick development of various fields of the industry, the significant improvement of the quality of production techniques [...].” This quote reflects the typical attitude of the era - they tried to erase everything from the past, the times prior to the communist period. Those traditions, events, holidays that they couldn’t abolish were transformed and manipulated until it fitted their own image.
These BNV events testified the modernization of the country, the improvement of the quality of life that inevitably involved the idea of a new, modern applied art. This manifested in the application of a great variety of new techniques in poster art. On cultural posters clean, geometric, spheric and streamlined forms were the most dominant.