After the artist produced their maquette, the poster's preliminary sketch, it was sent to the publisher and to the censorship bureau for approvals. If the design was approved by the censor and editors, the printer prepared the poster for production. In the Soviet Union, millions of posters were produced by the government from 1917 to 1991, so the publisher and the printer were both critical to poster production and output.
Printers often used a symbol (called a chop) to distinguish where the poster was produced. Below you can view a collection of Soviet-era publishing and printing marks taken from selected posters in the Poster Plakat Collection.
Publisher's Marks from Administrative Organizations
Soviet governmental agencies put their own publishing and printing marks on posters they created inter-departmentally. Below are a sample of various chop marks and their histories.
Agitational Publishing Department of Glavkomtrud and Narkomtrud
This example of a publisher's chop mark comes from a poster titled "Everything for the Miner!", designed by Ivan Simakov, whose biography can be seen on this website. The publisher's mark indicates the poster was issued by the Agitational Publishing Department of Glavkomtrud and Narkomtrud (abbreviated Russian: Агит-изд. Отд. Г.К.Т. и Н.К.Т.). Glavkomtrud was the Central Committee on Universal Compulsory Labor and Narkomtrud was the People's Commissariat of Labor. In addition to the poster design, Simakov likely designed this chop mark, seen on PP 677 in the Collection.
Litizdat. Literary and Publishing Department of the Political Directorate of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. // Литературно-издательский отдел политического управления РСФСР Литиздат // Literaturno-izdatel'skii otdel politicheskogo upravleniia RSFSR Litizdat
This publisher's chop mark shows a crest of the Soviet Union with the hammer and plow motif thereby suggesting the design was prior to August 1918. Inside the mark it reads, "Department of the publishing house of the political administration of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic." According to author Jeffrey Brooks in his book, "When Russia Learned to Read", Litizdat was a major organization for poster production under the Political Directorate of the Revolutionary Military Council of Russia-- the publishing arm of the Red Army. Litizdat distributed a total of 7.5 million posters, postcards, and lubki (illustrated broadsides) between 1919 and 1922. The mark comes from PP 808 in the Collection.
Publication of the Political Department of the XII Army. // Худож. Плак. Видавн. Поарм. XII // Khdozh. Plak. Vidavn. Poarm. XII
This publisher's mark was used during the Russian Civil War by the political section of a Soviet Army unit. "Proletarians of the World Unite" is seen at the top of the mark inside the scroll flourish. In the middle, in front of the sun rays, is a hammer and plow symbol with the initials RSFSR-- Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic-- formed in a semi circle. The hammer and plow motif suggests the mark's design was made before August 1918. On the book it is written, "Cultural enlightenment of the political department of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Red Army 1920." The poster was produced by the Soviet 12th Army, abbreviated on the poster as Xудож. Плак. Видавн. Поарм. XII ("Poster Artist Publication of the Political Department of the XII Army"). The mark comes from poster PP 804 in the Collection.