Though it is often considered a form of art, graphic design can also be used for darker purposes: to influence and manipulate public opinion during times of war. This was particularly evident throughout World War II, when each side used its own form of graphic design propaganda in order to gain an advantage over the other. While the Allies relied on bright colors and cheerful images, the Axis powers embraced grimmer designs and themes.

The role of graphic design in times of war is often understated, but it can be incredibly powerful. A good designer can take a seemingly ordinary leaflet or poster and make it into an effective piece of propaganda that can rally morale and help to recruit new soldiers. In Ukraine, for example, many graphic designers have been using their skills to create propaganda posters and leaflets that urge the people to stand up against the Russian-backed rebels.

Designers in Ukraine are continuing their work, even as war rages in the country. They are using their skills to spread messages of hope and accurate information, as well as provide logistical support. Designers around the world are showing their support too by getting involved. Here I will showcase some designs that have been showing up in support of Ukraine during the Russian invastion.

Poster design by Artem Gusev

Andriy Yermolenko
Stop War © Linda Valere Valere
Stop War © Linda Valere Valere
A portrait of a blatant liar, manipulator and psychopath © Karolis Strautniekas
A portrait of a blatant liar, manipulator and psychopath © Karolis Strautniekas
Standing Together © Greta Brat
Standing Together © Greta Brat

Art from a nation under attack

from The New Statesman

We Are Not Safe by Romana Ruban
“I was born in Kyiv and when the war began I decided to stay. In my apartment I have barricaded the windows and made a sleeping place in the hallway. This is a self portrait answer to friends who ask: ‘Are you safe?’ I can’t be safe while Russia wants to burn my motherland to the ground. I ask for help, not from a powerless nation but from all the brave hearts here, who will fight until the victory of Ukraine.”
Instagram @romanaruban
How Are You? by Studio Serigraph
“I made this image in a bomb shelter in my old primary school. These days, we say in Ukraine that, ‘How are you?’ is a way to say, ‘I love you’. More than 500,000 people have become refugees. Families are separated, buses carrying women and children are being shelled. Checking that your loved ones are alive has become a morning ritual. I am afraid that if the war lasts longer, people will get used to it and switch to something else. Please don’t stop supporting Ukraine.”
Instagram @studioserigraph

See full article here.