1940s Society: WW2 Posters

The 1940s Society, 25th June, 1999

The planning, design and reception of British Home Front Propaganda Posters of the Second World War

Ian, of the 1940s Society, discovered my site, and asked if I would give a talk to his group in Kent. So, in June 1999, I went to present a paper regarding my project. I discussed why I had first become interested in the subject (after seeing the Home Front display at the Imperial War Musuem in London), and why I have considered it worthwhile of study (largely because there has been no definitive study).

We briefly considered what ‘propaganda’ and ‘poster’ meant, the inter-war development of market research techniques/social surveys, including Mass-Observation, and use that Government made of it. We considered the organisation that produced many of the posters, the Ministry of Information.

We then had a heavily illustrated selection of case studies, covering:

  • The first posters produced by the MOI
  • International influences upon posters
  • The direct appeal in posters
  • Images for, and of, women in posters

This was then followed by more illustrations demonstrating some of my efforts to date posters, and some of the reasons for, and techniques of propaganda. This was then followd by questions and a discussion.


“In June, Rebecca Lewis spoke to us on the subject of British Homefront Posters of WW2. Rebecca is very knowledgeable about her subject and spoke not only on the design of the posters but also on the political motivations behind them. The talk was illustrated by a large number of slides and we certainly came away with a better understanding of the subject.”

Ian Bayley, The 1940s Society