News-Antique.com - Nov 29,2007 - Santa Fe, Nov. 29, 2007--If you want to mobilize a country to fight, you’ve got to come up with a way to convince people to get involved. The military realized as early as World War I that posters were a good low-cost way to do that.
Perfect recruiting tools, posters tugged at the heartstrings of patriotism and morality.
From country to country war posters shared one common theme. Their guys were the good guys--the noble, righteous ones. The other guys were the bad guys.
All you basically had to do was change the costumes, style, symbols and language. The message from country to country pretty much stayed the same.
In fact, World War I was the first large-scale use of the poster for political reasons. For those who couldn’t read, eye-catching pictures told the whole story.
Here’s a powerful one. A soldier points a bayonet in your face and underneath the slogan reads, “We’re going to do our part and we’ll win because we’re on God’s side.”
In a larger sense, it takes ingenuity and real thought to get people to do the unthinkable. Posters greased the war machine.
If you looked at a group of World War I posters next to a group of World War II posters a number of things standout.
The use of photographs was a lot more common in World War II posters. The posters were more graphic in their depiction of war and used more caricature and humor. The enemy was usually the butt of the joke.
One scary poster depicts a giant photo of Hitler’s head. His mouth is wide open and the caption reads, “We’ll soon have our Storm Troopers in America. What do you say, America?”
Another popular theme in World War II posters was bond buying campaigns. “They’re fighting harder than ever. Are you buying more war bonds than ever?”
On Aug. 1, Swann Galleries, New York, featured a selection of war posters in its Vintage Posters auction.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.