The Art of Safety First Posters

For more than 100 years, the British charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has campaigned to save lives and prevent injuries suffered through accidents. RoSPA began in 1916 after widespread concern over the increasing number of traffic accidents. As well as safety on the road, it also promotes safety in the home and workplace.

During and after World War II, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents focused on industrial safety and used a series of eye-catching posters to promote safety in factories. An artist called Leonard Cusden designed the posters, using simplistic but colorful imagery combined with short, catchy slogans that rarely exceeded half a dozen words.

Cusden was a highly respected poster artist, creating a large number of works for RoSPA but also producing some memorable tourism posters. Some people think he designed the Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Cusden started designing for RoSPA during World War II while with the RAF when factory accidents were commonplace. He liaised closely with first aid experts and mulled over each assignment while on sentry duty at an air field.

See more posters from Leonard Cusden

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