Leonetto Cappiello, 1875 – 1942, was an Italian and French poster art designer and painter, who mainly lived and worked in Paris. He is now often called 'the father of modern advertising' because of his innovation in poster design. The early advertising poster was characterized by a painterly quality as evidenced by early poster artists Jules Chéret, Alfred Choubrac and Hugo D'Alesi. Cappiello, like other young artists, worked in a way that was almost the opposite of his predecessors. He was the first poster artist to use bold figures popping out of black backgrounds, a startling contrast to the posters early artists.
During the course of his spectacular career as one of the most successful poster designers of the 20th century, Cappiello created more than 530 poster lithographs and influenced a whole new generation of functional designers from Switzerland whose International Typographic Style would come to dominate the medium throughout the world. He ranks alongside Jules Cheret and Alphonse Mucha as a pioneer of poster art. In 1981 a major retrospective of Cappiello's applied art was staged at the Galleria Nationale du Grand Palais in Paris. His works can be seen in several of the best art museums in Europe.