Identifying Propaganda and Its Visual Style

Learning to identify propaganda is undeniably important in the modern age. The visuals associated with 20th century wartime posters exemplify a common artistic style in propaganda, but this association often becomes the inadequate breadth of common knowledge. In fact, having this tie between wartime poster art and propaganda actually causes many people to be unable to recognize propaganda that is not in this artistic style. Propaganda as a means for persuasion uses current trends in visual communication to relay ideas, meaning that the styles are constantly evolving. Further, modern propaganda isn’t found only on poster art; it can be found on social media, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. Without an effective understanding of what propaganda is, how it’s used, and how to identify it, people are more likely to be unwittingly influenced by it. The hope of the presenter is that the audience is able to turn a more critical eye on the images that inundate us with persuasive information every day.