Wednesday, 13 May 2015

World War 2 Propaganda Posters – part 1

1939 Keep Calm and Carry On (UK)

British propaganda during World War 2:

Britain recreated the World War I Ministry of Information for the duration of World War II to generate propaganda to influence the population towards support for the war effort. A wide range of media was employed aimed at local and overseas audiences. Traditional forms of media such as newspapers and posters were joined by new media, including cinema (film), newsreels, and radio. A wide range of themes were addressed, fostering hostility to towards the enemy, support for the allies, and specific pro-war projects such as conserving metal, waste, and growing vegetables.

Propaganda was deployed to encourage people to volunteer for onerous or dangerous war work, such as factories of in the Home Guard. Male conscription ensured that general recruitment posters were not needed, but specialist services posters did exist, and many posters aimed at women, such as the Land Army or the ATS. Posters were also targeted at increasing production. Pictures of the Armed Forces often called for support from civilians, and posters juxtaposed civilian workers and soldiers to urge that the forces were relying on them, and to instruct hem in the importance of their role. People were encouraged to spend holidays assisting the harvest, even when they were also being encouraged to stay at home.

1942 J. Howard Miller. We Can Do It! (USA)

American propaganda during World War 2:

At first the American government was reluctant to engage I propaganda campaigns, but pressure from the media, the business sector and advertisers who wanted direction persuaded the government to take an active role. Even so, the government insisted that its actions were not propaganda, but a means of providing information. These efforts were slowly and haphazardly formed into a more unified propaganda effort.

In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Office of War Information (OWI). This mid-level agency joined a host of other wartime agencies, including the War and State Departments, in the dissemination of war information and propaganda. Officials at OWI used numerous tools to communicate to the American public, posters among them.

The United States used posters to advertise, and produced more propaganda posters than any other country fighting in World War II; almost 200,000 different designs were printed during the war. These posters employed a number of themes to encourage support for the war, including conservation, production, recruiting, home efforts and secrecy. Posters were usually placed in areas without paid advertisements – the most common areas were post offices, railroad stations, schools, restaurants and retail stores.

The American war posters were not designed by the government, but by artists who received no compensation for their work. Government agencies held competitions for artists to submit designs that it could choose from.

This is part 1 of a 9 - part post on World War 2 propaganda posters:

1938 Davies. ARP Looks To You. Women's Voluntary Services (UK)

1939 Freedom is in peril. Defend it with all your might (UK)

1939 Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory (UK)

1939-45 Canada's New Army Needs Men Like You (Canada)

1939-45 Carry Your Identity Card Always (UK)

1939-45 Chuck Thorndike. It's Smart To Stay On The Job. Leave Home Early and Avoid Rushing. Dress Warmly And Cover That Cough (USA)

1939-45 Eric Aldwinckle. Whatever Your Job May Be, Fight (Canada)

1939-45 Fall In The Fire-Bomb Fighters - Herbert Morrison (UK)

1939-45 Frank Newbould. Tighten Your Grip! (UK)

1941 Frank Newbould. Give Us The Tools "original artwork" (UK)


1939-45 It's Got To Fit To Do It's Bit! Get Your Work Into The "Scrap" Not The Scrap Heap (USA)

1939-45 John J. Floherty Jr. Your Duty Ashore ... His Afloat. Spars (USA)

1939-45 Serve With Women's Reserve - U.S. Coast Guard. Spars (USA)

1939-45 Jugoslavia's Merchant Seamem Fight… (UK)

1939-45 M. Larne. If You Don't Need It ... Don't Buy It (USA)

1939-45 Norman Wilson. Your Own Vegetables All Year Round ... If You Dig For Victory Now (UK)

1939-45 Philip Surrey. Every Canadian Must Fight (Canada)

1939-45 R. Filipowski. The Torch (Canada)

1939-45 Rabkin. Don't Burn Waste Paper (USA)

1939-45 Sealed Lips will Save our Ships (USA)

1939-45 The signal is SAVE (UK)

1939-45 What I Know - I Keep To Myself. Careless Talk Costs Lives (UK)

1939-46 A. T. Peel. New Zealand Fights (New Zealand)

1939-47 Fred Chance. War Traffic Must Come First. Don't Waste Transportation (USA)

1940 Yates-Wilson. "Up Housewives and At 'Em!" Put Out Your Paper - Metal - Bones "original artwork" (UK)


1940-45 Eveleigh. Let's Go… Canada! (Canada)

1940-45 G. Cullen. Private Scrap Builds a Bomber "original artwork" (UK)

1940-45 Jon Whitcomb. Death On Subs! (USA)

1940-45 Jon Whitcomb. Produce For Your Navy. Victory Begins At Home! (USA)

1940-45 "Your Lightning Has Outscored The Axis Wherever It Has Fought." - Army Air Forces (USA)

1940c A. J. Casson. Do Your Share In The war Weapons Drive. Buy More And More War Savings Certificates (Canada)

1941 Arthur H. Fisher. America Calling. Take Your Place In Civilian Defense (USA)

1941 C. C. Beall. Don't Let Him Down! (USA)

1941 Defense Needs Rubber. Save Your Tires (USA)

1941 When Troops Move Keep Tongues Still! Don't Gossip (USA)

1941 Jes Wilhelm Schlaikjer. Show Your Colors! (USA)

1941 Joseph Thorarinn. Careless Words May Cause Disaster! (Canada)

1941 Lester Beall. Transport Is Vital! Avoid Rush Hour Travel And Let The Workers "Go To It" In Comfort (UK)

1941-43 Robert Muchley. Build for your Navy! Enlist! Carpenters, Machinists, Electricians Etc.(USA)

1941-45 Eric Aldwinckle. It's Our War (Canada)

1941-45 Keep Them Both Flying! Speed Is Vital! (Canada)

1941-45 Our Answer, All-Out Production (Canada)

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