Data Visualization in the Age of Communism

The Soviet Union used data to inspire, terrify, and persuade the proletariat

Jason Forrest
Jun 28, 2019 · 9 min read
‘A Comparison of Resources Devoted to the Main Branches of the Economy at the
Beginning and End of the Five-Year Plan,’ 1930. Photo: National Library of Scotland/CC BY 4.0

The story of the Soviet Union is indelibly wedded to its propaganda. Visually stunning and surprisingly direct, Soviet propaganda not only communicated to the Russian people, but it also came to define them as well. Information designers, artists, and…