About the IADDB (International Advertising & Design DataBase)

The Egyptians and Romans already had advertisements painted on their walls. Advertising seems to be as old as culture. When during the second half of the XIXth Century advertisements took the form of colourful, artistic posters a new art form was born. Serious collecting resulted in magazines dedicated to poster design and societies of poster lovers sprung up all around the Western world. In the 1890’s poster exhibitions were held all over Europe and even as far away as in St. Petersburg and Chicago. Print shops catered to the growing appetite for the newest posters. Paris of course was the centre of it all, as in that city Jules Chéret (1836-1932), almost single-handedly, had created the new medium.

Maindron, in his book on posters, in 1896, tried to list the complete output of Chéret, the so called Roi de l’Affiche. The London periodical The Poster Collector’s Circular, in 1899, tried to do the same with designers like Alphonse Mucha and Dudley Hardy. Many more books and catalogues where to follow. Not all of them as accurate as could be however.

It was the German dentist Dr Hans Sachs (1881-1974) who with his Verein der Plakatfreunde (Society of Poster Lovers) and through its journal Das Plakat (1910-1921) systematically promoted commercial graphic design for the first time and who tried to catalogue its history.

The not for profit foundation the International Advertising & Design DataBase was founded in 2014 in the Netherlands as an hommage to Dr Sachs and carries on where he, due to the circumstances of the times, had to stop.

It is the goal of the Foundation to publicize as much information as possible through the IADDB and to ask the public to actively participate by adding images, names, dates and all other kinds of information. The database starts with but is not limited to posters. Posters are just part of a campaign, that in the old days would include newspaper advertisements, poster stamps, handbills, packaging, etc. etc. Nowadays an advertising campaign would not be complete without commercials on radio and TV as well as on social media. As copyrights get into the way of publishing those newer ways of advertising the IADDB will start with material, posters magazines etc., that as far as the foundation could establish are free from copyrights. Rightful owners of copyrights to anything published by the IADDB are urged to step forward so the board can address the matter prudently. Please contact the secretary, Martijn Le Coultre with comments and suggestions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As a first project the IADDB will put on line a number of scarce advertising and design magazines. Than a wealth of posters and other advertising material will follow as well as an index to artists names, biographies and signatures.

The IADDB is funded by founders. Each founder contributes the equivalent in value of at least $ 50.000,00. The first founder is the Amsterdam based foundation Het ReclameArsenaal.


The board of the IADDB
Alston Purvis, president (Prof. at Boston University)
Max-Pieter Fränkel
Martijn Le Coultre , secretary and treasurer (president of the Dutch Poster Museum)

Nick van Loendersloot (advertising specialist) former member of the board