Scared Straight, 1990’s Style: Drug and Alcohol Posters from Uncle Sam


Here’s another offering courtesy of the new partnership between the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Digital Public Library of America. A sampling of Government issued posters from the early 1990’s (and one from 1989) dealing with the dangers of drugs and alcohol. All from the vast archive of government posters that reside at the University of Iowa.


Once upon a time there was a girl ... she did some heroin and got addicted . 1996

Tom Stone, Tom stoned, tomb-Stone 1995

One way or another you'll end up with a designated driver 1989


Drink like a [fish], drunk as a [skunk], sink like a [rock], dead as a [duck]; safe [boat] ing, no [alcohol] your safety, our concern 1989Before you have one for the road-- consider the cover charge! 1999 Bet you didn't have this in mind when you said-- Let's go check out some bars. 1993

It's really spooky how well I drive after a few beers 1997

Previously on Book Patrol:
Keeping track for the National Archives and Records Adminsitration

Keeping track for the National Archives and Records Adminsitration

The_Written_word_endures_be_sure_to_create_it_and_preserve_itWhat a better way to celebrate the announcement that almost 150,000 items from our Government Printing Office (GPO) are now “discoverable” at the Digital Public Library of America then by jumping in to find some treasures.

Here’s a selection of posters from the late 1980’s – early1990’s issued by the National Archives and Records Administration to get you creating, organizing and preserving.






The Novel That Writes Itself is finished

the novel that writes itself

Allen Ruppersberg began The Novel That Writes Itself in 1978. The plan was to create a “fictionalized autobiography where he would talk of his adventures as a young artist.”

The main characters were slated to be the artist’s friends including Ed Ruscha, his gallery owner, Rosamund Felsen, and the collectors Elyse and Stanley Grinstein.

Amazingly, Ruppersberg exhibited a Kickstarter mentality 35+ years before crowdsourcing became the rage by offering the Grinstein’s places in the story for 300 dollars.  He also offered the opportunity to become a supporting character for 100 dollars or to be an extra in the book for 50 dollars.

A decade later, Allen Ruppersberg still had not finished the project.

Enter the Colby Poster Printing Company.

the novel that writes itself 4

The Novel That Writes Itself also includes 460 single-sided perforated sheets of the posters produced by Ruppersberg during his tenure at the legendary Colby Poster Printing Company.

For more than half a century, up until its closing down in 2013, The Colby Poster Printing Company was the go-to poster shop in Los Angeles. Their posters were a mix of bold black letters on a DayGlo background and were instantly recognizable throughout the city.

the novel that writes itself colby printingPhoto: Noe Montes

the novel that writes itself 2

The Novel That Writes Itself is produced and published in an edition of 24 numbered and signed copies and 6 artist’s proofs by mfc-michèle didier and is accompanied by a show at their gallery in Paris.

the novel that writes itself 1

the novel that writes itself 3

If you are anywhere near Paris between now and Halloween this should be one of your stops.

h/t manystuff