Tag Archives: wwii

wpa propaganda poster design idea

Printing Banners & Posters? Ideas & Inspiration from WPA Designs of WWII

Need to get attention with signage for your event or small business? Take inspiration from the bold, simple, and eye-catching designs of WPA posters from WWII.

Need an incentive? Click below for at least a 20% discount on custom-printed banners, posters, and signs at Vistaprint.com:


The Posters of the WPA: Simple & Effective Signage Ideas

wpa poster design brush teeth

WPA – Hygiene Poster

It’s amazing how these WPA posters, like the government propaganda posters of the same era, can convey a strong message with only a few words and a single image.

A number of them will even ask the viewer a question to hook them. “Are YOU helping?” Maybe you can do the same to potential customers. (Who wants a TACO?!)

Whether you are printing a banner for a trade show, advertising a grand opening, or printing a poster to advertise an art show, I think you can take inspiration from the poster designs of the WPA:

About The Works Progress (WPA) Administration Posters

From 1936 until 1943 the WPA commissioned about 2000 different posters to publicize events, community activities, and health & education programs in 17 states. This government program to support the arts created a massive amount of bold, creative, and effective signage which can still inspire our own marketing efforts today.

wpa poster design foreign trade zone

Tip: Printing Effective Signage & Posters? Keep It Simple, Like the WPA

“Oh twice as much ain’t twice as good,
And can’t sustain like one half could” – Gravity, John Mayer

So, you probably have a lot to say to potential customers, and you want to make sure you include it all when printing a sign, poster, or banner? Actually, you’re better off keeping it simple. Don’t waste your time creating wordy signage like this:

banner printing ideas bad

Marketing FAIL! Ineffective banners. You lost me 20 words ago. Yawn!

Think fewer words and images. If you’re banner looks like a page ripped from an encyclopedia, (What’s that? Ok, I’m old!) people will walk right by it and it will get lost in all the noise and visual stimulation that surrounds us on every street.

Effective & Cheap Signage: Custom Printed Banners, Posters, & Signs

Another tip and bit of inspiration: these WPA posters, like most of the propaganda of the era including Russian Constructivist posters, were done with few resources and technology on a tight budget. If you don’t have the services of a professional designer, or skill as an illustrator, you can still appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of these designs, and rethink your own signage layout to better command attention.

So, don’t think that you have to break the bank, especially with new printing processes, to get effective custom signage for yourself or your small business. Of course, we recommend Vistaprint, but you can find brilliant cheap printing from several other online printing companies like Shutterfly.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin - Please Share!