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Gorgeous Vintage British Road Safety Ads, 1939-1946

“Lookout in the blackout — think before you cross the road.”

Vintage visual communication has a special kind of mesmerism — from travel posters to political infographics to science ads. But beautifully designed vintage PSAs and public-interest propaganda stand as a particularly striking echelon of design as a mind-mover, and perhaps a bittersweet testament to the downhill spiral of similarly intentioned modern-day creative efforts. On the heels of this 1969 bike safety manual come a series of stunning vintage road safety from the UK National Archives.

‘Shine your torch downwards when crossing the road’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Tom Gentleman
Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.
‘Drivers; make sure you can always pull up within the range of your headlights’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Tom Gentleman
Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.
‘Cyclists; make sure you can be seen in the black-out’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Tom Gentleman
Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.
Female and male figures walking at night (1939-1946)
Artist: Tom Gentleman
Pastel and gouache on paper. Graphite lines, numbers and inscriptions.
‘Take no chances. Keep death off the road’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Ashley
‘Lookout in the blackout. Think before you cross the road’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Pat Keely
Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.
‘Look out in the blackout. Until your eyes get used to the darkness take it easy’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Pat Keely
Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.
‘Cross only at the lights’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Pat Keely
Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing. There is a graphite mark on the board.
‘Lookout in the blackout – think before you cross the road’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Pat Keely
Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing. There is a graphite mark on the board.
‘Walk left of the pavement’ (1939-1946)
Artist: Pat Keely
Gouache appears to have been applied to thick paper stuck to a board support. Ink has possibly been used for the technique of air-brushing.


Published January 16, 2013

https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/01/16/vintage-road-safety-psa/

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