Throughout history, there have been a number of tactics employed by governments to sway public opinion. Some of their favorite tools included propaganda radio and TV broadcasts but perhaps the most amazing way they managed to circulate propaganda is by way of posters. Looking back, propaganda posters have been used in different periods by different rulers all over the world and while they might not have been appreciated at that time, the propaganda posters were all so cleverly designed that having the public swayed by the message would come as no surprise.
Old Propaganda Posters
Looking at the old propaganda posters from the time of Chairman Mao to the ones passed out by the works of Dimitri Moor, you will realize that these propaganda posters weren’t just a way to sway the thoughts and emotions of people – they were also a form of art. Sure, back then, people would have very little reason to see past the message and focus on the beauty of the posters but looking at them now, you will appreciate the littlest details like how Chairman Mao’s posters have a distinct communist flavor to them and how Moor used solid black and red colors to be differentiated from the capitalists socialists.
New Propaganda Posters
Propaganda posters may have been most popular in times of war or in times of unrest and major changes were happening in a country but they are by no means obsolete today. In fact, you may not notice it but there are still many propaganda posters being handed out today. Only, they are not restricted to just governments and political groups but also to rallyists and even companies and individuals with a message they wish to spread such as in the case of Brian Lane Winfield Moore from the US. He is a great supporter of Net neutrality and released posters based on old WWII propaganda posters. In fact, it can be said that most modern propaganda posters have a distinct old school flavor to them which tells you a lot about the mindset of individuals creating posters that hark back to war-torn times.
To gain a better appreciation or understanding of propaganda posters, below are 30 creative examples of propaganda posters from the past. Read through the message and appreciate the art work.
“Barbarism vs. Civilization”, 1900
Help Keep Your School All American
Together We Shall Strangle Hitlerism
Evolution of tools, USSR Cold War, 1970s-1980s
“We beat ’em before. We’ll do it again!”
AsiaAfghani Taliban Anti-Soviet Poster (1970’s)
Save it for Marriage
The fists of the Allies breaking the Nazi swastika, France, 1945
Farm Work is War Work!
North Korean Propaganda Posters
Careless talk costs lives
Space Will be Ours
“Evolution?” Soviet anti-nuclear war poster
All the People of the World Praising Kim Il Sung
“Don’t Clown on the Job, War is Serious” WWI productivity poster, 1917
We Can Do it!
1939 British poster “Poland – first to fight”
“Pyramid of Capitalist System”, 1911
Love of peace – the Washington way [USSR, circa 1970]
Keep Your Mouth Shut
Blast the hub and smash the wheel! (1944)
Talk Less – You Never Know
Canada’s New Army…Motorcycle Wheelie Brigade (Canada, 1942)
Just Ask A Jap what it feels like to be up against men fortified with “Victory Vitamin C!”, Florida Citrus Growers 1944
“No to Chemical Weapons!” poster by Viktor Koretsky, 1984
“Back Them Up!” 1942.
Food is a Weapon. Don’t Waste it. (1942)
Go home – Day of Solidarity with Puerto Rico, OSPAAAL poster by Heriberto Echeverría, 1970
“GET IN THE SCRAP” 1942.
“Every ton of steel produced is a blow to NATO warmongers!” Cold War poster from Czechoslovakia. Artist: Lev Haas, 1951
“WHAT YOU MAKE CAN PREVENT THIS” 1944.