Graphic Design: Incredible Cuban propaganda posters from OSPAAAL

Date
28 January 2014
Reading Time
2 minute read

Bit late on the uptake on this one, but oh well, there’s always enough time in the day for legendary Cuban propaganda posters, right? The OSPAAAL Posters Show at London’s Kemistry gallery has unfortunately just closed its doors to the public. If you didn’t make it, have no fear! Michael Tyler’s collection of Cuban posters are here on the World Wide Web for you to browse as much as you wish.

Featuring wild, unpredictable illustrations punctured with bold letterpress typography, these posters are a side of Cuba I personally had not appreciated until now. Che Guevara pops up a lot, sure, but the level of propaganda and the sheer brilliance of the designs of these posters is a whole new world of graphic design. Something about the AK-47s lurking amongst the vibrant colours and appealing imagery is enough to give you the chills.

In Kemistry’s words: “Bold, colourful and eclectic, OSPAAAL posters are widely considered the front-runners in propaganda art. They reveal the idealistic spirit at the core of the Cuban revolution, intent on fighting globalisation, imperialism and defending human rights. Politics aside, they are a testament to the creativity of the Cuban people, an important legacy that has put Cuba at the centre of cultural activity in the Hispanic world for a generation.”

Read the full story of Michael’s collection of posters over here on the V&A website.

Images courtesy of Lincoln Cushing/Docs Populi.

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Faustino Perez: 1969 – Day of Solidarity with Venezuela

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Alfredo Rostgaard: 1972 – 4000 – Viet Nam – Tomb of Imperialism

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Rafael Zarsa: 1969 – Day of Solidarity with the people of Laos

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Guilermo Menendez: 1969 – Day of solidarity with the Japanese people

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Jesus Forjans: 1969 – International week of solidarity with Vietnam

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Alfredo Rostgaard: 1970 – Many Che’s

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Rene Menderos: 1970 – Saigon / Week of solidarity with Viet Nam

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Alfredo Rostgaard: 1971 – Sekou Toure

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Olivio Martinez: 1972 – Unity of the Arab peoples – Nationalization of Oil

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Antonio Fernandez: 1971 – Disappearance of Ben Barka

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Ernesto Padron: 1971 – Together with Vietnam

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About the Author

Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and worked across online, print and events, and was latterly Features Editor before leaving in May 2015.

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