The Stenberg Brothers

Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg (1928)

Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg were graphic designers from Moscow who produced film posters for the Soviet Union during the 1920’s. During this time they created over more than 300 posters with their constructivism style. The two were originally founder members of design societies where they would create street art and propaganda posters with young artists, the two were highly regarded within in the avant-garde scene of Moscow at the time.. This propaganda style is still seen through out their posters from the 20’s. For the Soviet Union at the time film was used as a powerful propaganda tool to promote their ideologies to a greatly illiterate country. The brothers also had to communicate this through imagery using clear photographs and typography so that everything can be understood universally.

The brothers would also use techniques influenced from filmography within their work. Influence of this is seen through how they would angle their posters such as if it was a physical lens to piece together their composition. And when film was in black white only they would use bold colours such as red to create more dramatic effect to the poster telling the viewer more about the narrative of the film or scene depicted.

Another common theme throughout their work was how they began realising that they could use images created by other people to piece together their own composition. This was a change from posters generally being mainly being focused around an illustration. This gave modern graphic design a new way of expression as they were able to create images that weren’t based around realism which introduced more avant-garde expression to designers.

What I like about their work personally is how timeless they are found to be. Although today they have physically aged and gotten distressed over time they can easily be imagined that they were created in Illustrator today. I also appreciate their use of bold, sans-serif typography to display titles and information about the movie as for back in the 20’s this was a modern approach to design and still proves today how timeless that form of type is. Another aspect of their work that I admire is how they created so many posters with a set style inspired by the constructivist movement but each one always looks unique. What I like about their style also is how they embraced the countries culture and the image that it had created for itself and they built upon that with the use of the Soviet reds and yellows, with almost a feeling of aggressiveness from the bold type. By creating a new approach to design, being innovative and provocative the Stenberg brothers have managed to represent the country perfectly whilst inspiring years of graphic design that followed them.

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