Use Spades Not Ships
- Catalogue number
- Art.IWM PST 2916
- Art and Popular Design
- Place made
- Great Britain
- Subject period
- Support: paper
- medium: lithograph
- Support: Height 730 mm, Width 483 mm
- Alternative names
- object category: Poster
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whole: the two images occupy the whole. The title is integrated and placed in the upper centre, in white and in grey. The text is integrated and located in the lower fifth, in white and in yellow. image: the left-hand image depicts half of a spade, point downwards, resting on a field. The right-hand image depicts half of the bow of a ship, sailing at sea. The two images combine to give both the shape of a spade and a ship. text: A. GAMES. USE SPADES NOT SHIPS GROW YOUR OWN FOOD AND SUPPLY YOUR OWN COOKHOUSE PRINTED FOR H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE BY CHROMOWORKS LTD., LONDON. 51-3295. P.R.82.
Before the Second World War, Britain had imported 55 million tons of food each year. Merchant shipping was immediately targeted by German U Boats and additional capacity was needed to import war materials. The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign launched at the outbreak of the war encouraged the cultivation of gardens and allotments. Millions of instructional leaflets were issued and by 1943, over 1.4 million people had allotments and were producing over a million tons of vegetables a year. The visual connection between the alternative food sources is a brilliant piece of design by Games. Games worked for the War Office between 1941 and 1946, producing over a hundred poster designs. His wartime work was outstanding, displaying superb technical mastery as well controlling every element of the design to serve the message, a message in which he strongly believed. In 1948 he wrote in 'Art and Industry', 'I felt strongly that the high purpose of the wartime posters was mainly responsible for their excellence'.
51-3295 PR 82 PST 2917 is the master copy of a smaller format version
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