I’ve always been fascinated by the differences of WWI and WWII propaganda. Although many of these posters aim for the same thing (to recruit men to join the armed forces), the ones that are truly interesting are the posters that reach out to women. Everyone has probably seen the iconic Rosie the Riveter poster (it’s my favorite piece of propaganda), but the lesser known posters like those from WWI are really interesting because it divulges knowledge about how women were perceived during that time.


Rosie the Riveter is shown flexing her muscles in a very masculine way, her hair is tied back and covered and she’s not smiling. The bold “We Can Do It!” talk bubble is empowering. The poster on top of the Rosie the Riveter one, however, pictures a younger looking girl dressed up in a mans uniform, but doesn’t look at all masculine. The “Gee! I wish I were a man” slogan is saying that “You’re not a man, therefore you can’t do his work, but you can stay at home and do other things.”

The design concept for both of these posters is also very interesting. The WWI and WWII posters are completely different from one another. Obviously these images were hand drawn, and the WWI posters look almost like water color paintings. The WWII posters, especially Rosie, remind me of the Barack Obama 2008 Campaign posters. It’s very bold, with lots of color, and simple in design. Text is very simple (sans-serif) yet makes a bold statement.