The arrival of 90s nostalgia has been interesting for me. I had a great time as a kid, but a lot of the major cultural touchstones have left me a little cold in hindsight. I mean, I hate Titanic. If I never heard My Heart Will Go On again, it would be way too soon.
But something I do remember fondly is the posters. Many of them were not particularly good, as you'll see below. But back then you could walk into just about any store on earth – no matter what else they sold – and there would be a display rack of posters available for sale. Reasonably priced and presumably borderline bootleg, they enjoyed incredible ubiquity while offering no discernible for why this should be so. Were lots of companies just getting good deals on printing at the time? It’s a true Unsolved Mystery.
In this feature – the first part of several – let’s take a look at some of the most common items you might see on one of these 90s poster racks.
Remember Magic Eye? Well, how about if it used even more terrible CGI and espoused the virtues of marijuana, LSD or mushrooms? Yeah. Pretty ugly.
I guess maybe this was part of that 60s revival that happened in the 90s. If you look at the first couple of series of POGs or Glo Caps, you see very similar imagery there, too. It was weird for a suburban kid, so I guess it was one way of marking yourself out as different.
Hahaha, look at how witty I am for having this poster on my wall. Mildly amusing at first glance and less funny with each successive look, these were an essential addition to any teen’s bedroom. Often found in sharehouses to this day.
In contrast to the broad range of posters in other categories, movie posters were only available in two varieties – Pulp Fiction or Trainspotting.
New Age Posters
In the 90s, New Age ideas were a lot more prevalent. The reasons for this are complex and multi-layered, but you really can’t discount the influence of The X-Files. Fuelling a whole cottage industry of weird shit in its wake, posters like this were just the tip of the merchandising iceberg. Often overlapping with the aforementioned trippy posters, these could sometimes engulf up to half a poster rack.
Did you/do you have any of these on your walls? Shout out in the comments below. More to come in part 2!