Vintage Beauties: Soviet Era Infographics

Design & Style

In the creative field of design people might tend to overlook where the current trends come from. It's easy to think that everything that's been created is new, when in fact it's the exact same opposite. The visual language that we know is a direct heir of works past and going back to them is always a good source of inspiration. This time the inspiration source comes from the Soviet era, most specifically the infographics that were created to display the information that was important to the regime.


The elements used for these graphics are amazingly contemporary -another evidence of how the design trends always go back to the roots for inspiration- and considering some of them are from the 1960's we can say that Soviet era graphic design was pretty avant-garde. The graphics are conformed by dynamic shapes and very original displays of data, such as the use of different types of charts like Bubble charts and other elements like illustrations or arrows.


Given the printing techniques of the time, there's a lot of use of flat colors and simple patterns for differentiation. The different layers of visual elements are beautifully composed, mixing interesting shapes that escape the typical static geometry- an iconic characteristic of Russian visual style in general (i.e. constructivism, suprematism). There's also an interesting combination of typefaces, using a geometric sans-serif font for the texts paired up with another sans-serif with different weight strokes.


You can tell how effective these infographics are considering that even though one might not understand Russian, one can still figure out what they're about. That's pretty much how you know when good design works, when visual language is all you need to get the sense of it.

All images credit to the Libraries of Duke University



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