Can graphic design save your life? — A brief history of the epidemic PSA

‘Smoking is slow motion suicide’ poster, Cleanair

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought unprecedented events to countries across the globe. with a significant proportion of the world’s population now in self-isolation or state-imposed quarantine, many people have referred to the effort required to combat the virus as ‘war-like’. Reminiscent of events such as the great depression, the first and second world war, and the cuban missile crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is one that will go down in history. during these desperate times in the past, many governments produced posters that intended to inspire and inform the public with universal imagery and rousing messages. several of these posters have gone on to transcend time to become iconic works of art that are now synonymous with vintage public service announcements. 

Halt The Epidemic, Hanlon, c. 1918

As coronavirus misinformation sets off an international scramble for accurate public health communications, This article explores the stories behind the iconic campaigns designed to save lives before Covid-19.

Click here to see some examples of how PSA is used to save life in history.


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