Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics

An unprecedented exhibition of original Cuban propaganda posters and magazines.

When, Where

Much of Cuba’s iconic graphic design is instantly recognizable the world over. But alongside the familiar image of Che Guevara, Cuban artists have produced uncompromising design and illustration to deliver Cuba’s revolutionary message around the world. These works have rarely been seen – until now.

Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics is the first major exhibition of graphic design from Cuba’s ‘golden age’. It brings together 115 posters and 70 magazines distributed across the globe by OSPAAAL: Fidel Castro’s Organisation of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, an organisation founded to promote cooperation between socialist countries and liberation movements.

From 1966 until 2019, OSPAAL’s designers in Havana produced hundreds of posters and magazines that expressed solidarity with the U.S.A.’s Black Panther Party, condemned apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War and celebrated Latin America’s revolutionary icons. Some of their messages, such as criticism of U.S. military bases in Guantanamo Bay and support for the unity of North and South Korea, remain pertinent today.

Throughout the Cold War, artists including Alfredo Rostgaard, Helena Serrano, Rafael Enríquez and Gladys Acosta Ávila produced provocative posters and bold editorial design for Tricontinental, an illustrated magazine that featured articles by radical public figures, both expected – like Che Guevara and Malcolm X - and unexpected, like Jean-Paul Sartre and Jane Fonda.

The works in the exhibition were produced by 33 designers, many of them women. All were created between 1965 and 1992, reframing the familiar story of the Cold War through a wholly unfamiliar angle.

Exhibition curator Oliva Ahmad says: “The boldness and range of approaches to design in this collection is astonishing.  Although these artists were designing to express the political ideology of one nation, they weren’t limited to one aesthetic; their work is marked by an extraordinary freedom to experiment.  Visitors will see everything from bold typography and photomontage to psychedelic colours and pop culture-inspired graphics. These posters and magazines don’t just represent exemplary design – they also provide a fascinating record of the global ideological conflicts of the 20th century.”

Important to know:

One ticket covers admission to all House of Illustration exhibitions that are open on the day. Buy exhibition tickets below.

Please check our opening times page for occasional closures before your visit to avoid disappointment.

Tickets

Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Adult ticket with gift aid£8.80 £8.80
£0.00
Concession ticket with gift aid£5.50 £5.50
£0.00
Over 65 ticket with gift aid£7.70 £7.70
£0.00
Child ticket with gift aid£4.40 £4.40
£0.00
Family ticket with gift aid£19.80 £19.80
£0.00
National Art Pass ticket with gift aid£4.40 £4.40
£0.00
Adult ticket£8.00 £8.00
£0.00
Concession ticket£5.00 £5.00
£0.00
Over 65 ticket£7.00 £7.00
£0.00
Child ticket£4.00 £4.00
£0.00
Family ticket£18.00 £18.00
£0.00
National Art Pass ticket£4.00 £4.00
£0.00

Your ticket covers admission to ALL exhibitions that are open on the day of your visit. Check our What's On page for details of current exhibitions and the Visit Us page for opening hours.

- Concessions: student, job seeker, disabled (any paying disabled visitor can be accompanied by their carer free of charge)
- Child: aged 5-18, under 5s go free
- Family: up to 2 adults and 3 children under 18
- National Art Pass: 50% off full-price tickets with valid card
- Friends: unlimited free entry

- Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All tickets sales subject to our general terms and conditions.
- This ticket covers admission to all exhibitions open on the day of your visit. There is no re-admittance.
Please note that your confirmation email may go to the email address associated with your Paypal account. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation, please contact rachel.stoplar@houseofillustration.org.uk.

Gift Aid

By donating 10% of the admission price you enable us to Gift Aid your ticket, claiming an extra 25p in every pound. This makes a huge difference. Thank you!

By selecting Gift Aid tickets you are confirming you are paying an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for the current tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for the current tax year. Council tax and VAT do not qualify.