Art & Design

Vintage PSAs are repurposed and reused for spreading the word on coronavirus safety

The Canadian design studio, Touchwood design, has redesigned some old PSAs to advise and give hope during these hard Coronavirus times.

Many design studios and artists from around the world, have entered the Coronavirus battlefield in a very creative manner. “Around two weeks ago, the terms ‘War on Corona’ and ‘War Time’ state of emergency started to ring out. I immediately thought of World War Two and all the Government PSAs that were produced,” says Shawn Murenbeeld, Creative Director at Touchwood Design, to OZON magazine. “I’ve always loved the simplicity of message and art. It was at this time that I thought, maybe these should be repurposed and updated to address the current situation.”

After research, Murenbeeld found some of the past’s most famous PSAs that were used during difficult times. Still, if they were updated with current information, they would work correctly for today’s situation. “It seemed like a logical fit. These works of art were created during key moments in our history. We have arrived at another. Using these globally recognized communication pieces—why not recycle them and give them new meaning,” says Murenbeeld. 

The original posters were created in the 1930s, to 1950s, by then famous artists, such as James Montgomery Flagg, E. McKnight Kauffer, Polya Tibor, Raymond de Valerio, J. Howard Miller, Dick Williams, and Jean Carlu, to name but a few.

Some of the main goals of these posters were to help and inform about the coronavirus situation. Also, they advise how people should act to prevent the spread of the virus. The more people see these PSAs, the merrier. “We’ve faced terrible things before, and we’ll get through this together,” adds Murenbeeld.

“Together, we can do it!”

Images: Courtesy of Shawn Murenbeeld,

Words by Katerina Stamatopoulou