VCD Juried Student Show / Entry
In May of 1940, Allied armies retreated towards the town of Dunkirk as German forces continued to push further into northern France. Thousands of troops littered the beaches of Dunkirk as German fighter planes continued the onslaught from above. Defenseless from the attacks, the Allied troops feared for their lives with little hope of survival. On May 26, Great Britain formulated and initiated Operation Dynamo. Operation Dynamo became the most successful evacuation plan in military history as over 338,000 troops were transported across the English Channel in nine days. The following posters were created as visual interpretations of the events described above.
While the Allied armies were surrounded, the Germans dropped leaflets as they flew planes overhead calling for them to surrender. Utilizing the leaflets as a source of inspiration, the goal of this poster was to create a sense of panic through entrapment and an unbalanced composition. Arrows swirling in from every direction with type stretched across the underlying image display a message of nearing defeat. The arrows were created using stencils that were sprayed onto a textured stock and than scanned in separately in order to give the poster a crafted feel. Both posters display copy pulled from Winston Churchill’s address to the public after the success of Operation Dynamo.
While the evacuation was successful, the war waged on. This poster focuses on the realization of the bittersweet success of that moment. The large numbers act as the landmasses, separated by the barren space of the Channel down the middle. Type is spread out in representation of getting from one point to another. The words, “we will never surrender” run vertically down the poster acting as the waves of the waters that were traversed. Winston Churchill’s call-to-action is spread out through the middle in resemblance of the sailors who made the journey across the Channel to save the troops.