Five Poster Designs Inspired by The Great Depression

Five Poster Designs Inspired by The Great Depression

Heather Blaha
Dec 9, 2008
SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL LIVING by Nick Dewar
More from the Dec/Jan issue of ReadyMade: The magazine asked five designers to use The Great Depression's populist poster art as inspiration for depicting our current economic and cultural times. Link to the posters online to download PDFs for free. Below, the artists share their thoughts:

Read the article's introduction by Steven Heller here.

SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL LIVING
by Nick Dewar:
"I hope that America is entering a post-'greed is good' period. I can't think of a single step that would change the nature of our society more than everyone abandoning their automobiles and cycling instead. There would be less dependence on oil, obesity levels would drop dramatically, and reflective bike clips would replace fancy ladies' purses as the current must-have fashion accessory."
{see more of Nick's work at nickdewar.com}

LET THEM GROW by Mike Perry
"I really responded to the original WPA phrase 'let it grow'—it seemed much bigger. I wanted to make something that lifted spirits. It seems like the program should have never stopped. I know so many brilliant artists who could have used some government funding even while the economy was booming." {see more of Mike's work at midwestisbest.com}
EAT LOCAL, BUY LOCAL, GROW LOCAL! by Christopher Silas Neal
"Solving the world's energy and food problems would do a great deal to strengthen the global economy, prevent disease, and reverse the effects of climate change. The original Victory Garden program was designed to ease pressure on the public agricultural supply and support the war effort by encouraging families to grow their own food. I wanted to expand this idea to the broader concept of buying and eating local food." {see more Christopher's work at redsilas.com}
KNOW OTHER PEOPLE by Open
"Since the WPA was about helping people understand concepts that can help make life better, we took a different approach to war and defense. Communicating with an open mind is the first step toward understanding and avoiding conflict. The 'know other people' caption refers to the 'know other lands' phrase on some of the original posters." {see more work by Open at notclosed.com}
IT'S WHAT MAKES AMERICA SO SPECIAL! by Christoph Niemann
"Even though you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, a good cover makes a good book more interesting. I think art in a society often works similarly. I like all of the original posters, but one of them—'Fantastic and Abstract Art'—I find remarkably weird." {see more of Christoph's work at christophniemann.com}
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