Historical RoSPA safety posters, postcards and greeting cards – a perfect Christmas gift

A recently discovered collection of historical safety posters from the archive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are now available to own as a print, postcard and Christmas greeting card – with stocking filler options of a printed mug and fridge magnet also available.

It was during a clear out of RoSPA’s old warehouse last year, when the discovery of more than 700 historical posters and artwork for posters was made. Forty iconic posters dating from the 1930s to the 1970s covering all aspects of safety – occupational, road, home and leisure – were chosen to go on public display earlier this year and are now available to buy as high quality framed and unframed art prints and canvases through RoSPA’s print-on-demand service at www.rospaprints.com.

A perfect Christmas gift, the poster of your choice is also available as a pack of eight postcards and four greeting cards. It is possible to customise the posters on the website by cropping the image and choosing from landscape and portrait options. And for those looking for some stocking fillers, a printed mug and fridge magnet of an iconic poster may fit the bill.

Among the famous artists who produced artwork for RoSPA during this period were Tom Eckersley, Leonard Cusden and the cartoonist George Smith, better known as Gus. Their messages are just as valid today as they were when they were created decades ago.

Tom Eckersley’s Christmas stocking design was a Christmas message and New Year wish from RoSPA to its members in 1951. Other popular RoSPA poster designs include the 1950s Warm the Child, But Guard the Fire, the 1960s winter weather clothing warning and the 1963 Accidents Keep You Out of Things, all of which could make an eye-catching festive gift for the home, office or community setting.

RoSPA, a charity which has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for more than 95 years, has produced a video about the discovery of the posters and artwork. See www.rospa.com/vintageposters/ for details.

Janice Cave, RoSPA’s history project manager, said: “We were astonished at the wide variety of styles used by the different artists and the high calibre of their work. These posters are a striking visual reminder of the development of RoSPA’s safety messages over the years, which at times, touch on appropriate humour to help bring the messages alive. These beautiful illustrations will make a wonderful Christmas gift and are a nostalgic reminder of RoSPA’s safety and accident prevention work which is still relevant today.”

Graphic design history expert Dr Paul Rennie, of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, who is working with RoSPA on its historical poster project, said: “It is amazing to be able to share this artwork with a wider public - the work is testimony to a long and continuous effort to improve the quality of working and everyday life for ordinary people; and the discovery of these posters allows us to build a more complete history of RoSPA at a time when poster messages were at the forefront of RoSPA’s activities.”

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