Fight Talk: A WWII Poster Campaign

The Second World War saw the participation of countless corporations steering and converting their talents and resources toward the war effort. At the end of the war, many of these corporations took advantage of their contributions to produce promotional pieces that highlighted their involvement. For instance, the Chrysler Corporation published a four-volume set of small books describing how the company converted its factories into munitions and supply sources for everything from bullets to radar.

This article reproduces the contents of a book published by the General Cable Corporation that reflects on the WWII poster campaign they produced from 1942–1945. This series of graphics promoted such issues as conservation/recycling, safety, thorough job performance, and security. The closing section of the publication has sepia photographic montages showing GCC plants and staff, and presents the achievements and awards received by the company and its employees.

Wrap-around cover illustration by early Timely (Marvel) Comics artist Carl T. Pfeufer. Pfeufer was one of the original artists on Bill Everett's creation, "The Sub-Mariner."

The front and back inside boards/covers have illustrations of the 8 GCC plants across the country.

The advertisement below was produced in 1938 and appears to be a source of inspiration for the poster series. The original painting by Stevan Dohanos was presented to FDR in 1943.

Stevan Dohanos, August 1938

The poster campaign begins below. Wherever possible, I’ve tried to include the artist/illustrator’s name below the image.

Will B. Johnstone (http://www.marx-brothers.org/marxology/willb.htm), February 1942

February 1942

February 1942

Ronald McKenzie, February 1942

Ronald McKenzie, April 1942. (Both the McKenzie posters appear to use the same male character. I wonder if he used himself as a model.)

May 1942

June 1942

C. C. Beall, November 1942

December 1942

February 1943

March 1943

April 1943

May 1943

June 1943

July 1943

C. C. Beall, July 1943

August 1943

September 1943

October 1943

November 1943

January 1944

John Clymer, February 1944

March 1944

July 1944

Pat Holbrooke, September 1944

November 1944

C. C. Beall, November 1944

March 1944

April 1944

April 1944

May 1944

May 1944

June 1944

June 1944


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You might also enjoy Alex W. White’s Advertising Design and Typography, available at MyDesignShop.com.

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