When one speaks of retro art, images of art styles derived from advertising and propaganda posters from 1930s to 1960s usually flood the mind. The simple graphics made from oil paints reflect the less advanced technology of that time. This period is also a time of significant turbulence in our modern history, when major events such as the rise of communism and World Wars were taking ground. It is then not surprising that many posters serve as propaganda tools for the ruling governments. These propaganda images eventually contributed to the development of different retro art styles.
Many of the following retro art pieces that you will see are actual posters produced during those time. We’ve searched a couple of sources to compile a great list of retro art styles comprising not only of propaganda art pieces, but also a few other kind such as advertising posters. In addition, we have separated these pieces into two main categories, Western and Chinese retro art. Full list after jump.
The West: Retro Posters from the West
Here we have Soviet posters during the rise of communism as well as propaganda posters during World War II. There are also some miscellaneous ones like film and product ads, along with some retro-inspired art.
This is the Enemy
Guns of Russia
We’ve Beaten Them Before
Eyes of the Home Skies
We Can Do It
Here They Come!
The Soviet Regime
The Power of Propaganda: Wartime Posters
Syd Mead Concept Design for US Steel
Say Yes! to Analog Design
Soviet Flag Over the Reichstag
Retro Never Dies
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Jantzen Swimsuit 1949
Le Facteur ATC
Glory To Our Army
I Wake Up Screaming 1941
People and Army are One!
We Will Not Allow This to Happen Again!
Great Stalin is A Flag of the USSR’s Friendship
Everything for the Victory – Women of USSR for the Front
Motherland is Calling!
To Defend USSR
Liberated woman – Build Up Socialism!
1953 Advertising Calendar for Hotpoint Appliances
1924 Lenin Poster
The East: The Chinese Art of Propaganda
As a result of over 5,000 years of China’s history and culture, Chinese art has always been uniquely different from the West. Here you will see how traditonal Chinese art evolved into retro art that still maintains its distinct culture while incorporating Western art elements to spread communism.
Mao is Always Right
Revolutionary Committees are Good
The Working Class is the Main Force in the Campaign
Win Honor for Our Great Leader Chairman Mao
Sharpening the Knife
Down with the Capitalist
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army
Learn from the Spirit of Daqing
We’ll Definitely Beat the World Record
Develop New Mountain Areas
An Eye for an Eye
Our Victory is Certain
Down with American and Soviet
The Chinese People are Not Easily Humiliated
The Revolutionary Movement
Smash the Old World; Establish the New World
Brilliant Light of the Red Sun
Learn Science From Young
I Love the Blue Sky of Motherland
Film Poster: Home
Film Poster: Beyond the Sea
Art Comes From Life’s Struggles
United As One People
These propaganda artworks were collected from Life.com, Flickr, Crestock, kaladarshan, Chinese Poster Online and other websites.