Vintage War Posters
111 images Created 29 Jan 2012
The U.S. used posters more than any other type of propaganda media, 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 used 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. Smaller posters were printed for the windows of private homes and apartment buildings. These were places where other propaganda media couldn't be used. The Office of War Information (OWI) Bureau of Graphics was the government agency in charge of producing and distributing propaganda posters. The main distinction between United States poster propaganda and that of British and other allied propaganda was that the U.S. posters stayed mostly positive in their messages. The United States posters focused on duty, patriotism and tradition, whereas those of other countries focused on fueling the people's hatred for the enemy. The positive messages on U.S. posters were used to increase production on the home front instead of insuring that the "money raised was not lost." U.S. Posters rarely used images of war casualties, and even battlefield scenes became less popular, and were replaced by commercial images to satisfy the "consumer" need for the war. The 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 their designs, allowing the government to increase the number of designs that it could choose from.