The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters

    written by Nikola Lazarevic

    One of the great aesthetic legacies of the Soviet Union is the great wealth of magnificent propaganda posters it left behind. Lenin takes responsibility for creating the first truly modern propaganda machine, from postage stamps and Mayday parades to monumental sculptures. Perhaps its most colorful, dramatic and original form was the poster.

    Graphic, bright and compelling, soviet propaganda posters are often viewed as the quintessence of an epoch, reflecting the way that the country’s rulers addressed the governed.

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    What makes Soviet posters so precious and so valuable is their innovative manner and the talent of the authors. The attention to details is amazing, scope of techniques is endless. Soviet posters are inspiration for any graphical designer.

    The Russian avant-garde artists were the first in the world to use photographic images as part of design.

    Through the images of posters, you can see how the state encouraged people, and what it did to make them feel optimistic about their future.

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Death to world imperialism
    D. Moor (Orlov), 1920

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory be to the people’s heroes from Potemkin
    Unknown artist, 1920s

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Forever together! Russia and Ukraine
    Unknown artist, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    On the Horses, Proletariat!
    Unknown artist, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Nowhere but in Mosselprom
    A. Rodchenko, V. Mayakovsky, 1925

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Lenin and electrification
    Shass – Kobelev, 1925

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Smoke cigarettes “The Pack”
    M. Bulanov, 1927

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    A. Hammer. American Industry Concession. Pencils and Pens. Moscow – New York
    Unknown artist, 1927

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    The Eleventh
    V. Stenberg, A. Stenberg, 1928

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Intourist. Transsiberian express
    M. Litvak, 1930

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Let’s thrash it!
    V. Deni, 1930

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Leningrad is calling up
    Unknown artist, 1930

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    To Defend USSR
    V. Kulagina, 1930

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Do you look after your breasts?
    Unknown artist, 1930

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Long Live the World October
    G. Klutsis, 1933

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Long Live World October! Workers conquered power in Russia. Workers will conquer power in the entire world!
    Unknown artist, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Let’s work, and build and never whine!
    Alexander Deyneka, 1933

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    All world records must to be ours.
    Govorkov V. I., 1935

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Smoke Captain’s Cigars!
    Sakharov S. G., 1939

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Long live the mighty aviation of the socialism country!
    V. Dobrovolsky, 1939

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Moscow is the capital of the USSR
    El Lissitzky, 1940

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Motherland is calling!
    Irakli Toidze, 1941

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Loose lips sink ships
    Unknown artist, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Keep your mouth shut!
    N. Vatolina, N. Denisov, 1941

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Courageously and irresistibly we fight and stab. We are Suvorov’s grandchildren and Chapaev’s sons.
    Kukryniksy, 1941

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Everything for the Victory – Women of USSR for the Front
    A. Kokorekin, 1942

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    To The West!
    Ivanov V.S., 1943

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory to the winners of the war!
    Unknown artist, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Say “No to Fascism!”
    V. Koretsky, Year Unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Smoke cigarettes
    I. Rosanov, S. Sakharov, 1950

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    To whom goes all national profits? In the CCCP, to the workers.
    Unknown artist, 1950

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Each day we live happier!
    Unknown Artis, 1952

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    If you want to be like me, just train!
    V. Koretskiy, 1951

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    The best grape wine – The Soviet Champagne
    N. Martynov, 1952

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    If you do a pointless chat, you are helping spying rat
    Koretsky, 1954

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    To fly higher than all, farther than all, faster than all!
    D. Pjatkin, 1954

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Come along with us to the new lands!
    Seleznev V. P., 1954

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    1917-1955
    Unknown Artis, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    We will come to the plentitude
    Unknown Artis, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Work as Stalin tought us
    Unknown Artis, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Deputat – Public servant
    Unknown Artis, Year unknown

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    In the USSR, in the USA
    Unknown Artist, 1950s

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory to the Soviet Science!
    Unknown artist, 1957

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    USSR is a mighty sports power!
    B. Reshetnikov, 1962

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Here’s our profit!
    V. Koretsky, 1965

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory to heroes of Brest Fortress
    O. Savostjuk, B. Uspenskiy, 1969

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Man’s power – to help the woman!
    A . Rudkovich, 1970

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory to the explorers of space!
    A. Leonov, A. Sokolov, 1971

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    A still of the Soviet trade and industry exhibition in Colombo
    Litvinov N. K., 1972

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Purity – to Seas!
    V. Karakashev, L. Levshunova, 1973

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Keep in revolutionary step!
    V. Zhabsky, 1975

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Glory! Glory! Glory to the Soviet Armed Forces!
    Belskij L, Potapov V, 1977

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    Bread for Motherland!
    V. Kononov, 1978

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    People and the party are undivided.
    Luk’janov M. V., Karakashev V. S., 1978

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    While I was flying round the Earth on sputnik spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is…
    A. Lozenko, 1987

    The Art of Propaganda: Retro Soviet Posters
    90th Anniversary of the October Revolution
    Bukheevy, 2007
    Authored by

    Web Designer, Blogger, M.Sc in Electronic Engineering from Nis, Serbia. Founder of webexpedition18.com. You can find me on Twitter.

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5 Comments
ADD COMMENT
  • Dzinepress says:

    February 22, 2011

    inspiring retro art of techniques.

  • Eric Ross, Ph.D. says:

    February 23, 2011

    An outstanding collection of propagandist posters from the soviet era. Great job of gathering and displaying them all in one place. I’d suggest also making an expo of German Nazi posters.

    Thank you.

    • Nikola Lazarevic says:

      February 23, 2011

      Hey Eric, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I was also thinking about doing post with German Nazi propaganda posters.

      It could be interesting to see and compare Soviet and Nazi posters.

  • patrick james says:

    February 24, 2011

    Yeah, Russian design is really underrated. Such beautiful works! :)

  • Xiahou He says:

    February 28, 2011

    Such beautiful posters! Though I’m Taiwanese, these posters inspired me to fight for the Motherland!
    XD