Stories

You’ve been warned

Graphic design has been used to shape our behaviour and attitudes towards all kinds of things. These eight graphic warnings advise on everything from crossing the road and keeping clean, to smoking and sex.

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Stop Look Listen

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

Leonard Cusden was a British poster artist working in the 1940s and 1950s. He produced hundreds of posters for The Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents. This one warns us to stop, look and listen before we cross the road, especially when the weather is bad. Reproduced with permission from ROSPA.

Keep Alert

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

This is another poster designed by Leonard Cusden for The Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents. His feline design warns us to keep alert on the roads, especially at night. Reproduced with permission from ROSPA.

Safe Sleeves

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

And this Leonard Cusden poster for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents advises on how best to wear one's sleeves safely at work. Reproduced with permission from ROSPA.

Personal Cleanliness

Wellcome Collection.

This poster by British graphic designer Abram Games was aimed at people serving in the military, and was released by the UK War Office in 1941. Games was an 'Official War Poster Artist' during the Second World War, and he designed 100 posters during that time.

La Moustiquaire

Wellcome Collection.

This design from 1917 was also aimed at military personnel. It shows an enormous mosquito trying to attack a French soldier, who is protected by a mosquito net.

There's No Fun in VD

Wellcome Collection.

This poster by Masters dates from 1945, and was designed to make us think about the risks of unprotected sex.

Fitness Wins

Wellcome Collection.

This art deco design featured on a bookmark produced by the Central Council for Health Education and the National Fitness Council, both of Great Britain, in the 1930s. It was designed to encourage us to use our local swimming pools, playing fields and recreation grounds, and was included along with a list of books on sport and fitness.

Have Another (Sure Death)

Wellcome Collection.

This screenprint is from the USA, and was designed to make smokers reconsider their deadly habit.