A Short History of Propaganda

Because of the turbulent history here in Balkans, now we have a museum dedicated to the past and history of today’s non-existent country of Yugoslavia, more precisely its history after the II World War up untill its end in 1991. Currently the Museum of Yugoslav history in Belgrade hosts an exhibition called ‘Design for a new world’, which presents the development of graphic design in forming a visual identity of a nation, used not only in promoting ideas of new communist party and ideology in its propaganda material, but also used in advertisements for everyday life objects widely used in all households, such as coffee, shoes and soft drinks. Design was everywhere, on New Year greeting cards of famous state owned companies, book covers, and even on boxes of matches. Visual identity in today’s sense was appreciated, and although some themes were limited or imposed as a must by rules of an communist ideology, there was also a lot of space for creative freedom and visual interpretations within the frames of allowed. The exhibition gives us an interesting view on visual aspect of superimposed collective identity and its reflections in our everyday ordinary environment.

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Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, Serbia

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Political propaganda billboards- dominant red color, or blue-white-red with obligatory star, like the flag

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Josip Broz Tito, lifelong president and his bust gained symbolical and mythical significance in yugoslavian communist propaganda material

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Another myth of a worker and his great importance in communist era, as well as ‘brotherhood & unity’ slogan, both carrying a strong ideology mesage

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Everyday life propaganda and its design- ‘Sljeme’ meat industry, ‘Meinl coffee on every table’, ‘Underberg apperitive digestive- don’t save if your stomach is in question’

 

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Everyday life. ‘Jogi’ matress of yugoslavian production, ‘Cockta’ soft drink sold instead of forbidden ‘Coca cola’, ‘Pepito punch rum’ and ‘Ghetaldus optics’ that protects your eyes from ultraviolet rays

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Yugoslav Aero Transport

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Borovo- state owned shoe company that dictated fashion trend- billboard for spring models, 70s

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New Year greeting card, 1976

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Matchboxes carried a message too

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Abstract art in design- a catalogue for international vine fair, 1972

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Some more political propaganda- 29.11. 1976. Republic day, main state holiday celebrated each year

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Youth day, 7.5.1985., another state holiday celebrated as a memory of Tito’s birthday- more colourful and creative design, still carrying mythical bust of president Tito as a central visual theme

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