No More War! These are Avant Garde's timeless antiwar winning poster designs
Created during the Vietnam War blood-soaked era, a time during which a large and probably yet not well-known number of war crimes committed by both sides including theft, arson, property destruction, rape, massacres of civilians, bombings of civilian targets, terrorism, the widespread use of torture, and the murder of prisoners of war, Herb Lubalin’s “No More War” is one of the world’s most iconic antiwar statements.
Originally printed as a “call for entries” poster contest announcement on the back cover of Avant Garde #01, the design is as 'Lubalinesque' as it gets. It’s bold as its message.
Edited by Ralph Ginzburg, Avant Garde was renowned for its graphic content by design guru Herb Lubalin. Eventually, the magazine’s antiwar poster competition received over two thousand entries from twenty-four countries.
The winners of the contest were announced nine months later, in Avant Garde #5. Impactful and shocking to see in print for most people then -and even now, even though we live in a time where there is visual overload & mass equanimity in the face of ongoing war crimes.
This is Avant Garde’s introduction piece to the winning entries:
“Avant-garde’s ‘No More War’ poster contest, announced nine months ago, brought a response that swamped our expectations: Over 2,000 entries from two dozen countries. Especially surprising and heartening was the large number of entries from ‘Iron Curtain’ nations, especially Poland and Czechoslovakia, and from Japan.
The craving for peace, in this era of endless war, is evidently universal, as is the art of the poster.
Discounting the vast number of entries whose sentiments surpassed their graphic artistry, the final selection was still enormously difficult, and the number of winners could easily have been doubled without any loss in quality.
The winning posters are presented on these six pages. The theme most conspicuous in winning posters is a wholesale rejection of militarism, of the military idea. Nothing is seen as more dangerous than the notion that war is glorious or a fit occupation for man.
Understandably, the United States is often viewed as the embodiment of contemporary militarism -our government’s persistence in a genocidal war in the name of ‘freedom’ makes it a logical target for the poster-maker’s savage art.
And nothing could better oppose the dehumanized rhetoric of escalation than these images of wit and passion, proclaiming against the mindless ‘domino theories’ and ‘pacification programs,’ the universal human demand: ‘NO MORE WAR!’”
Winning entries included a typographic collaboration between Billy Apple and Robert Coburn and Hirokatsu Hijikata.
The accurate and timeless design speaks of timeless values and demand.
No! More! War!