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The labour movement was clustered in political parties and trade unions. Each 'compartment' (socialists, liberals, Catholics, Protestants) had a separate network of organizations that even included choral societies and printers. As the parties and unions grew, they became more influential. They competed and waged fierce propaganda campaigns. Posters were important instruments in this process, as bold slogans and emotional scenes were expected to be highly persuasive. As far as putting up posters was concerned: the more the merrier. During the run-up to the elections, major cities were filled with posters. Designers produced posters for the movement with which they were affiliated: Catholics did not work for liberals, social democrats did not work for communists.
Most posters were multi-coloured lithographs, although some were woodcuts or linocuts. The printed matter and designs were of a very high standard. Social democrats devised their own style, featuring large, elegant figures and elaborate ornamentation. Many of their posters recall Art Déco and the Amsterdam School. The posters of the revolutionary socialists and communists reflected greater influence from Expressionist styles and other contemporary movements. But their organizations were smaller and less well-funded and could not afford to produce posters as often.
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