Title Workers
Creator Gil Spear
Date 1918
Format 20 x 30 in
Description The United War Work Campaign was a specific fundraising initiative organized by seven non-profit organizations to raise $170,000,000 between November 11 and November 18, 1918. These dates are noteworthy because they show that the campaign officially began on the day that WWI ended with the signing of the Armistice agreement; however, fundraising did continue after the war ended. One of those non-profit organizations involved in the campaign was the Young Men’s Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.), also known as the “Y” and symbolized with a red triangle. The Y.M.C.A. was dedicated to providing soldiers and their families with comfort, entertainment, and supplies during the war. This poster by Gil Spear is an impressive example of the effect of depth and organization on visual communication. In the front of the image, Spear depicts a muscular stone mason lifting a block stamped with the organizations insignia. Behind and to the left of the hunched over man is a tall, dignified, older man wearing a grey hat and uniform with the Y.M.C.A. logo on his sleeve. Above and behind both men is a large grey stone carved with the word “WORKERS.” The text at the bottom of the poster connects the physical and moral strength of the two workers to the fundraising campaign by stating “LEND YOUR STRENGTH TO THE RED TRIANGLE.” One of the more interesting and innovative aspects of the poster is the inclusion of a soldiers silhouette beneath the powerful stone mason. Notice the symmetry between the worker’s hat and the soldier’s helmet. Thus, the poster verbally and visually argues that volunteering and donating to the Y.M.C.A. directly helps soldiers on the front lines, even if those fighters are not clearly visible.
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