Survival Information Graphics

The Recognition Pictorial Manuals issued by the United States Military during World War II were a precursor to the infographic explosion we see today. Printed on fairly cheap paper, in black and white, these thick books nevertheless adopted some principles of modern reduction that would aid in identification. This iteration, a “letterbox” style horizontal, is divided by iconic tabs, similar to El Lissitzky’s 1923 “For The Voice” design. Each page shows relative positions of the specific aircraft (ours and theirs) and silhouettes for easy identification from the ground. The amount of intelligence on all these (and presumably more) aircraft was massive and essential for survival. Now that’s branding.

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  1. i loved the renditions as a kid…
    never had the ones from the war department but was addicted at collecting the Jane’s series…
    now i’m curious… who the heck is/was Jane?!