Remembering the Poster Workshop

If you were left-wing in London in the late 60s, the Poster Workshop was the place to print your political posters. As a new book on the workshop is released, we talk to founder Sam Lord about its history and why its aims still resonate today.

“In 1968, phones were attached to the wall with wire and computers were as big as buses. Posters were possibly the only way of passing on information, if only locally.”

Sam Lord is reminiscing about the Poster Workshop in London, which was set up in 1968, and in its three years of existence, churned out hundreds of posters tackling the key political issues of the time. Inspired by the Atelier Populaire, set up in Paris in 1968, its founders encouraged anyone to drop into the basement in Camden Town where it was housed, and commission a poster.

A new book, titled Poster Workshop 1968-1971, chronicles its output and brings the political challenges of the time into sharp focus – the Vietnam War, Apartheid and Northern Ireland feature heavily – but what is equally striking are the many issues which continue today, particularly around housing and rent in London and the fight against fat cat bosses.