The Daily Heller: We’ve Been in this Dangerous Predicament Before!

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For people of a certain pre-AIDS generation, VD cautionary posters were ubiquitous—and scary—warnings designed to stave off a treatable but transmittable disease.

There are certainly enough contagious viruses and deadly infections going around to keep poster artists busy. We tend to forget the huge number of calamitous and debilitating problems that were epidemic or pandemic in scope, and how, with the proper precautions and medicines, they were either controlled or wiped out. VD (venereal disease) that usually reaches volatile levels under certain catastrophic conditions, notably during wartime, is among the most frequent. Posters have been a weapon in combating (or at least acknowledging) this disease.

Adrian Wilson, provocateur par excellence, recently revisited a vintage poster prevention campaign against VD used during World War II, and remixed the various messages into a current cautionary attack on CoViD-19. This genre of repurposing images and words is not new or novel, but when accomplished satirically and wittily, as Wilson has done below, it can be an effective public messaging tool.