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Patricia Thomas

Doctor of Philosophy, (Visual and Material Culture)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Creative Arts


Thesis Title
"Large letter'd as with thundering shout" An analysis of Typographic Posters Advertising Emigration to New Zealand 1839-1875

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

While emigration flows from England to New Zealand in the 19th century have been studied from a number of perspectives, there has been little work on the role of the ephemeral material of promotion. There were always insufficient numbers of suitable people to first establish and then maintain the colony. Ms Thomas explored how emigration agencies used typographic advertising posters to attract and engage prospective emigrants to New Zealand, and to offer them ways to take a desired action. She found that, while newspaper advertising gathered some willing emigrants, it was the posters that stimulated the ’reluctant leavers’, boosting the numbers and filling the emigrant ships.  Ms Thomas also found that the New Zealand Company in particular developed an early example of a systematic, strategic, and graphically coherent advertising campaign.

Associate Professor Bronwyn Labrum
Professor Claire Robinson

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