A graphic history of French Right propaganda


A remarkable book just published in France traces the history of graphic propaganda used by French parties of the Right, both mainstream and extreme, from 1880 to the current day. Tricolores, by Applied Arts professor Zvonimir Novak, took ten years of research and includes 800 posters, ranging from the crude creations of early reactionary populist and anti-Semitic monarchist movements through to the carefully-crafted images of the modern conservative and Far Right parties. "There is cohesion there, you can actually follow a party with nothing but these documents to go on," explains Novak. In this article by Marine Turchi, he decodes the visual and verbal rhetoric behind 17 telling examples.

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In 2004, Professor of Applied Arts Zvonimir Novak travelled to the wealthy western Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud, where he had an appointment at the headquarters of the French far-right Front National (FN) party. His object was to beef up his collection of "little papers", as he calls them: printed propaganda in the form of posters and pamphlets, flyers, stickers and decals, badges and insignia of all sorts."The FN was one of the few parties that still had its own graphic design service," Novak explains.