Iron Fists: Branding the 20th c. Totalitarian State

“Glory to the great October!” A Russian poster commemorating the 1917 Revolution,
from Steven Heller’s new book, Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State
In Iron Fists, an illustrated survey of totalitarian visual propaganda, Steven Heller offers an insight into the visual representations of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Communist USSR and China writes Katya Kan. Heller’s argument centres around the idea that totalitarian imagery is based on the potential of brand devotion. “Like any corporate identity campaign,” he writes, “the totalitarian regime demands the brand loyalty of its subjects.”
In his new book, Heller discusses how posters, magazines and advertisements were used within the visual systems of these dictatorships, alongside more formalistic elements such as typefaces and colour palettes…

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