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- DescriptionEffective communication on a massive scale between the government and the people of the United States was essential between 1917 and 1919 to mobilize the American people in support of the First World War effort. The pictorial poster is a medium of visual communication that tells a story, usually with few or words. This study examines the use of the pictorial poster as the primary medium of communicating the government's needs to the American people for the waging of war. The study is illustrated with 129 plates, consisting primarily of reproductions of World War I war posters. A review of the literature dealing with poster art, the temper of the times (1914-1919), American military heritage, and examination of original and photo reproductions of war posters provide the basis for analysis of the visual communication effort. Categories of need are defined as groupings of war posters with similar themes designed to reinforce, or change, public attitude or behavior to produce tangible products that answered governmental needs. This study found six primary categories of need: 1) awareness of the threat, 2) the call for resources, 3) societal support of the combatants and the allied effort, 4) humanitarian, 5) finish the job-on to victory, and 6) retrenchment. The categories of need, themes, messages, and symbols are summarized in a matrix at plate 129. The principles of pictorial poster design are identified, and applied to selected posters to evaluate the effectiveness of the visual message. Analysis resulted in the following conclusions: 1) the pictorial poster was successful in gaining general public support for the American First World War effort; 2) the principles of pictorial poster design are applicable to visual communication regardless of the media; and 3) the graphic art poster can fulfill an important and mission-related external role in today's Army.
- Author(s)Philip J Hickok
- Date of Publication17/09/2012
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectEducation & Teaching
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Weight154 g
- Width189 mm
- Height246 mm
- Spine4 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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