The National Archives Powers of Persuasion
Poster Art from WW II
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Introduction

About this Exhibit

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Part 1

Man the Guns!

It`s a Woman`s War Too!

United We Win

Use it Up, Wear it Out

Four Freedoms

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Part 2

Warning! Our Homes
Are in Danger Now!

This is Nazi Brutality

He`s Watching You

He Knew the Meaning
of Sacrifice

Stamp `Em Out!

Warning! Our Homes Are in Danger Now!
Commercial advertising usually takes the positive note in normal times .  .  . But these are not normal times; this is not even a normal war; it's hell's ideal of human catastrophy [sic], so menace and fear motives are a definite part of publicity programs, including the visual.
--Statement on Current Information Objective
Office of Facts and Figures

Public relations specialists advised the U.S. Government that the most effective war posters were the ones that appealed to the emotions. The posters shown here played on the public's fear of the enemy. The images depict Americans in imminent danger-their backs against the wall, living in the shadow of Axis domination.

WARNING! Our Homes Are in Danger Now!

Produced by the General Motors Corporation, 1942
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-44-PA-2314)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Warning! Our Homes Are in Danger Now!--Our Job Keep 'Em Firing
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Keep These Hands Off!
by G. K. Odell

A study of commercial posters undertaken by the U.S. Government found that images of women and children in danger were effective emotional devices. The Canadian poster at right was part of the study and served as a model for American posters, such as the one below, that adopted a similar visual theme.

How to Make Posters That Will Help Win the War, Office of Facts and Figures

NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-44-PA-124)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Keep These Hands Off!--Buy the New Victory Bonds
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Don`t Let That Shadow Touch Them
by Lawrence B. Smith, 1942

Produced for the Government
Printing Office
for the U.S. Treasury
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-44-PA-124)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

Poster Don't Let That Shadow Touch Them--Buy War Bonds
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We`re Fighting to
Prevent This

by C. R. Miller

Think America Institute,
Kelly Read & Co.
NARA Still Picture Branch
(NWDNS-44-PA-2376)

(Click on poster for high-resolution image)

  Poster We're Fighting to Prevent This

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