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A group of three children in the center of a grassy lawn with a large shadow of a swastika looming over them. One of the boy stands while holding a toy plane while another in a paper hat holds up an American flag. A girl sits in front of them, holding a doll. In the lower margin is the text, "Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them / Buy WAR BONDS."
Throwing Some Serious Shade
In the midst of World War II, the war effort was reliant upon the purchase of war bonds by the American population. In 1942, the military could not hold off the encroaching armies without the support of Americans. Graphic designer Lawrence Beall Smith dramatically presented the necessity of war bonds to the public by showing...
Text in the upper margin reads, "Someone" and in the lower margin, "Talked!" all in block capitals. In the center, a soldier is shown drowning in water, pointing his finger out at the viewer.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
During World War II, poster competitions were held to solicit designs, under particular themes, to assist in the war effort. This poster, designed by Frederick Siebel, was submitted to alert Americans to the urgency of national security. For this contest each poster was subject to the scrutiny of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who acted as...
Horizontal red and black poster in which two military leaders pull a cart of symbolic figures across a field. Behind the cart, three figures are sprawled on the ground. Red and white Cyrillic text is printed in the top right.
A Graphic Field of Bayonets
In this Soviet poster designed by Dmitri Moor, cartoonish figures trek across a dark landscape transformed by war. Along the lower border, Moor substitutes bloody bayonets for blades of grass, implying that Soviet land is hostile to these travelers, all of whom are enemies of the Bolshevik cause. The poster satirizes Soviet adversaries in both...
Poster featuring the text "VIVO IN TYPO" composed of red, black and white computer-generated punctuation marks. Additional text with details of exhibition printed in white at the right hand side.
Making a Poster is a Process
When graphic designer Philippe Apeloig featured his own poster designs at the Espace Topographie de l’art in Paris, he chose the title Vivo in Typo for the exhibition, and decided to make the title the graphic focus of his promotional poster.  Apeloig concieved of an image comprised entirely of typography.  He began by sketching punctuation marks...
Philippe Apeloig on the VIVO IN TYPO poster
Graphic designer Philippe Apeloig describes the process and thinking behind the VIVO IN TYPO poster. The gigantic poster is part of the Cooper Hewitt permanent collection. You can see it on 12/12 when the museum re-opens, as part of our “Making Design” exhibition. Thanks to Erik Hougen at the Lower East Side Printshop for demonstrating...
Distressed ground resembles a black wall with flaking white paint. The paint flakes are designed like a map, depicting Ginza, Japan. The white dot represents the location of Ginza Graphic Gallery. Title of exhibition appears in black Helvetica text of varying sizes, stacked vertically.
Lovingly Crumpled
After a decade in mainstream advertising, Singaporean designer Theseus Chan founded the independent consulting firm WORK in 1997. Three years later, he created a sibling publication, Werk magazine. Frustrated by the aesthetic tedium and reserve he perceived at larger ad agencies, Chan used these new ventures to foster innovative design. With WORK, he has devised...
Six blocks of text outlining Stalin's 1931 "Six Conditions" speech overlap a black and white photo of Stalin. Additional quotes from the speech, printed in red and black Cyrillic appear to the right of Stalin's head at an angle against a cream-colored section. Above this, the speech's title appears in red, against a grey background.
Designing for a Dictator
Bold text surrounds a black-and-white photograph of Joseph Stalin in this Soviet poster from 1931. The poster was designed to reinforce the tenets of a speech by the leader, delivered to a meeting of industrial managers in June of the same year. The speech outlined six conditions for new industrial development, all of which are...
Dark violet poster featuring text in blue, oragne, and yellow. Text creates the outline of a man's silhouette. Text reads: "A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF THELONIOUS MONK. Freitag 5. September '86, 20.30 Uhr, Mohren. Jon Hendricks, George Adams, Bill Hardman, Walter Davis Jun., Stafford James, and Cliff Barbaro."
Blue Concert Posters
This poster, for a tribute concert to the music of Thelonious Monk at the Jazz Festival Willisau, can be categorized a few ways. It’s one of the 17 posters we have by Swiss graphic designer Niklaus Troxler (a Willisau native and jazz lover who first organized the jazz festival in 1975). It’s also one of the...
Poster depicting a town view with buildings and scaffolding in the background under large clouds. Large arms coming from above hold a book open to an audience of men (workers) holding signs. All look to a man, standing on a tall platform, pointing to the book.
From Lenin’s Lips to God’s Hands
You don’t need to read Russian to understand this Soviet poster. Two larger-than-life hands lower a huge book from the sky, holding it open for all to read. Crowds flock to the book, extending as far as the eye can see. In unmistakable visual language, designer Sergei Ivanov conveys the importance of literacy—a crucial issue...