World War II

Square rayon handkerchief printed in red and blue on white showing the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner surrounded by stars and fireworks. Printed along border: Blue is for Loyalty, Justice and Truth/ White is for Purity / Red is for Courage and Zeal. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Missing Verse
Author: Jeana Klein In celebration of the third annual New York Textile Month, members of the Textile Society of America will author Object of the Day for the month of September. A non-profit professional organization of scholars, educators, and artists in the field of textiles, TSA provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination...
Paris, Indoors and Outdoors: Thérèse Bonney
Elizabeth Broman discusses the work of influential Jazz-Age photojournalist Thérèse Bonney.
When Civilians Guarded the Skies
A collaboration between the husband and wife partners of Miho Inc., Tomoko and James Miho, this poster commissioned by the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum simultaneously satisfies the role of advertisement, information graphic, and history lesson. A visually striking image with strong hierarchy, dynamic contrast, and bold colors on an eye-catching metallic-coated paper, the...
Image of a red flying plane. Surrounded by small vignettes
What do you want to be when you grow up?
In 1940, with World War II already underway, it seemed inevitable that America would soon be joining the fight against the Axis powers. The U.S. Army Air Corps published this recruitment poster shown above. The imagery utilized by an unknown graphic designer romanticized participation in the academy’s cadet program. The montage of photographs showcase cutting-edge planes...
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...