Poster art mobilized the nation. These images -- on factory bulletin boards, store windows, and billboards -- warned against complacency, inspired patriotism, and called for sacrifice from every citizen.
This image, said to be the most popular poster design of World War II, appeared as a billboard in 1941. Carl Paulson created the design under the direction of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., for a U.S. Treasury Department campaign promoting the widespread public ownership of defense bonds and stamps.
After the US entry into the war on December 8, 1941, the words on this flag poster changed from "defense" to "war" bonds. To demonstrate the power of advertising while selling Treasury bonds, the billboard industry displayed this image at more than 30,000 locations in some 18,000 cities and towns across the country in march and April 1942. It was brought back for campaigns in July 1942 and July 1943. To meet public demand for copies of the billboard, the Government Printing Office printed 4 million small color reproductions.
In May 1942, the War Savings section of the US Treasury Department developed a "quota campaign" asking Americans to set aside 10 percent of their salaries and wages for war bonds. Exhibited here is one of nine billboard designed posted in communities across the country dramatizing the kind of war equipment that each community's "quota" would buy.