Sunday, December 21, 2008

Russian Posters Old and New: On the Street and Underground

Greetings dear Friends. Imagine my bewilderment Saturday when I went to pay my internet bill. Somehow, without advance notice *цтс* changed company policy as per the notice below.

Out of the clear blue sky, alligators are prohibited. Left me in a bit of a pinch. Had I known, I would have left mine at home. Actually the sign says Entrance with animals is PROHIBITED. Especially alligators. I'll need to rethink my internet service provider if they're going to get all huffy about this.

Then while walking along digesting that news, I realized we're overdue here for some Soviet-era posters. And, as fate would have it, within moments alligator escort and I found ourselves at the underground walkway. And there are posters in the windows. Care to join us for a look?

Literally, We serve culturally each visitor. Or how about, We serve each cultural visitor. That one might not work. I vote for this one: We treat each guest with courtesy. The waitress looks so wholesome and healthy. She's even smiling. Now that's propoganda for sure.

This is sweet, kids on a sled. At bottom is a little verse that rhymes. Here's the literal translation: Let's cheerfully allow children in any yard. I'd go with Please welcome children into your yard. I think the idea is to be nice to kids. Or be prepared for the consequences. . .which may include being blind-sided by snowballs.

Several posters have to do with being overheard. Not surprising, considering these are Soviet-era posters and all.

Gossipy chatter - it's useful for the enemy.

This one is inspirational. Do not drink methyl spirits! (alcohol). The tanker in background is labeled яд, or poison. Okay, will definitely keep this new information in mind for the coming year. Nobody wants to end up blind and lame like the fellow in the picture.

Knowing just enough Russian to be dangerous, I decided the 2nd word meant rich man, because the root of that word means wealth. And would translate that as Grow, Mr Rich Guy! Nyet, nyet, nyet, Amerikanka! It says Grow, Athlete! But one just never knows: some athletes do end up being wealthy.

So here we are, back on the street today in cold Rostov, well below zero and snow forecast for the coming week. Within the magnifying glass below are city names, Rostov-on-Don being the biggest and boldest. At the bottom, Here's a place for your advertising! Not that I'm on the street corner advertising or anything. . .

But here we are, dear blog reader, Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. And, to our friends who will be celebrating Christmas this week, a Very Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Jeanette said...

Love those posters! I bought "Grow, Athelete!" for my son as a gift...he is a body builder. Coincidentally, he and his wife had a baby boy right around that same time. So it was the perfect poster. He liked it so much that they framed it and put it in their living room. I'm sure it's a converstation starter...

Have a wonderful Christmas!

collin douma said...

I have been a fan of soviet era posters for most of my life.

Particularly the film posters of the 1920's and 30s. I don't speak russian, let alone read it. I have no russian blood in my family history, yet some how I am constantly drawn to this amazing design aesthetic. Perhaps it is the fact that I can't read it that makes it so interesting to me. Combined with some of the best compositions in design history (in my humble opinion ;-)

Anyway... I hope you will join us, and post some of these examples on the Soviet Posters group on Facebook.

All the best

Andy and Ana said...

Love the Retro-look in the posters they're colorful & animated. The baby is so beautiful, too. Art does tran-sends all cultures and 'It speaks for itself', too. Looking like Vanna White (wheel of fortune) there pointing to the letters! Thanks for sharing. Great smile...Have a wonderful life-In Christ fellowship...Nana ana.