Propaganda Essay about Uncle Sam

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For over two hundred years, posters have played an important part in the everyday lives of society. Its main purposes were to attract public attention to advertising, political campaigns, announcements, music, and movie promotions. They were designed not only to be appealing to the audience but also to contain meanings in their design. Therefore, this report will look at three different posters.

The Uncle Sam, a propaganda poster was designed by American illustrator and comic artist, James Montgomery Flagg in 1917. This poster is considered one of his most popular works during World War I. It was inspired by the work of Alfred Leete’s British version of Lord Kitchener Wants You.

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The poster shows Uncle Sam pointing a finger toward the viewer. Back then its purpose was to call action towards the young men of the USA to join the US army to serve their country. It makes its first public appearance on 6 July 1916 in Lesli’s Weekly magazine before altering for a new purpose which is the recruitment process of World War I (Knauer 2017)

Although this poster is simple, the way it is placed in the center strongly shows that the man was talking directly to you especially with his stern look and his fingers pointing- which also indicates the principles of movement in the hand. This leads to another principle which is the hierarchy. At first glance, our eyes are set directly straight to the portrait of Uncle Sam before moving down to the typography. The typeface which is one of the elements present in this piece is a sans serif font which shows the seriousness of the message it wants to portray, with a thicker stem than the serif font and has no curves present on it. It has two colours black-blue and red. The only red color is emphasized in the letter ‘YOU’ which clearly shows an emotion behind it. The color red is associated with energy, danger, and war which was what they were going through at that time. The colors used in this design are mainly blue, red, and white. You can see it from the border around the poster as well as on the clothing of Uncle Sam. This was not shocking since America’s flag has a red stripe and blue and white stars. Therefore I was impressed that they managed to promote the colours of their nation and combine them to create this piece.  

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Propaganda Essay about Uncle Sam. (2024, April 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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