High or low. You can go places in today's scientific army

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number ARTV10128
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 59 x 72.2 cm; sheet: 50.3 x 63.3 cm
Object type Poster
Physical description screenprint on paper on linen
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made March 1960
Conflict Army organisation period 1961-

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


This Australian Army recruitment poster relates directly to the re-establishment of the defence forces into the Pentropic Division of organisation. The Pentropic Division was formally announced and implemented in March 1960. It comprised of five battle groups, instead of the division-brigade-battalion structure that had previously existed. It was based on the Pentomic example utilised by the United States of America (USA).

'High or low' is from the poster recruitment series 'Men of Value serve Australia!'. This series of posters are strong historical documents that indicate the change in approach to establishing the Australian Regular Army as a long term modern career option, with a focus on technology, science and travel. The posters are visually dynamic, using a restricted colour palette of bright, contrasting colours with bold headlines, to create an aesthetic synthesis of art with emerging modern promotional tactics. Accompanied by broad, nationalistic slogans that are cryptic, short and witty, the posters present the Australian Regular Army as an excellent career choice for men of character and adaptability that could be entrusted to protect Australian interests' locally and abroad.

'High or low' demonstrates just this, with the black and white graphics of a young male soldier, parachutists and a scuba diver against a blue and green background, together with the stark black, red, yellow and white lettering. In addition, in a post Second World War climate this imagery channels new national sentiment to the USA and her culture. The poster adapts the imagery of the USA army, most clearly apparent in the helmet the soldier is wearing. To contextualise this image into an Australian experience, the helmet bears the well known motif, the Rising Sun.