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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

Barbarism vs. Civilization

Help Keep Your School All American

Help Keep Your School All American

Together We Shall Strangle Hitlerism

Together We Shall Strangle Hitlerism

Evolution of tools, USSR Cold War, 1970s-1980s

Evolution of tools, USSR Cold War, 1970s-1980s

“We beat ’em before. We’ll do it again!”

%22We beat 'em before. We'll do it again!%22

AsiaAfghani Taliban Anti-Soviet Poster (1970’s)

AsiaAfghani Taliban Anti-Soviet Poster (1970's)

Save it for Marriage

Save it for Marriage

The fists of the Allies breaking the Nazi swastika, France, 1945

The fists of the Allies breaking the Nazi swastika, France, 1945

Farm Work is War Work!

Farm Work is War Work!

North Korean Propaganda Posters

North Korean Propaganda Posters

Careless talk costs lives

Careless talk costs lives

Space Will be Ours

Space Will be Ours

“Evolution?” Soviet anti-nuclear war poster

evolution

All the People of the World Praising Kim Il Sung

All the People of the World Praising Kim Il Sung

“Don’t Clown on the Job, War is Serious” WWI productivity poster, 1917

war

We Can Do it!

We Can Do it!

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

Victory Job

Victory Job

1939 British poster “Poland – first to fight”

1939 British poster %22Poland - first to fight%22

“Pyramid of Capitalist System”, 1911

Pyramid of Capitalist System

Love of peace – the Washington way [USSR, circa 1970]

Love of peace

Keep Your Mouth Shut

Keep Your Mouth Shut

Blast the hub and smash the wheel! (1944)

Blast the hub and smash the wheel! (1944)

Talk Less – You Never Know

Talk Less - You Never Know

Canada’s New Army…Motorcycle Wheelie Brigade (Canada, 1942)

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

Just Ask A Jap

Early 1940s

Early 1940s

“No to Chemical Weapons!” poster by Viktor Koretsky, 1984

%22No to Chemical Weapons!%22 poster by Viktor Koretsky, 1984

“Back Them Up!” 1942.

%22BACK THEM UP!%22 1942.

Food is a Weapon. Don’t Waste it. (1942)

Food is a Weapon. Don't Waste it.

Land Army

Land Army

Go home – Day of Solidarity with Puerto Rico, OSPAAAL poster by Heriberto Echeverría, 1970

Go home - Day of Solidarity with Puerto Rico, OSPAAAL poster by Heriberto Echeverría, 1970

“GET IN THE SCRAP” 1942.

%22GET IN THE SCRAP%22 1942.

“Every ton of steel produced is a blow to NATO warmongers!” Cold War poster from Czechoslovakia. Artist: Lev Haas, 1951

%22Every ton of steel produced is a blow to NATO warmongers!%22 Cold War poster from Czechoslovakia. Artist- Lev Haas, 1951

“WHAT YOU MAKE CAN PREVENT THIS” 1944.

%22WHAT YOU MAKE CAN PREVENT THIS%22 1944.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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