This book stemming from the exhibition ‘The art of preventive health and safety in Europe’ presents historical and vintage posters from various European countries showing how graphic design has been used to promote health and safety prevention in more than 20 different cultural environments.
The publication shows how workplace health and safety messages and slogans have evolved, from initially blaming individual workers for accidents and mistakes towards the fostering of a more proactive approach to prevention. The work demonstrates also the historical importance of occupational health and safety for the European trade union movement. It thus presents the risks gradually identified by workers as stepping stones on the road to conceiving prevention, charting how the mobilisation of a collective intelligence served to challenge the traditional division of labour.
Viewed from an artistic angle, meanwhile, the publication offers a journey through the art of the 20th century and across key national artistic and graphic movements, with the incorporation of photography, photomontage, geometric abstraction and rigorous typographic treatment.