I don’t know the exact years for these posters – I would imagine early 1950′s all the way to late 1960′s. As you may know, there was a huge race between the US and Russia to see who would get into outer space first. Russia won with the first rocket to hold a living animal (a dog) in 1951 and also the first unmanned orbit of Earth in 1955. The competion was hot, and a lot of time and money was spent to make the citizens of each country aware of the importance of the space program. The Soviets printed these posters, some pure propaganda, some simply informative – all extremely heroic, to boost their program. They are all extremely cool, beautifully designed and printed with great illustrations, vivid colors and interesting type usage.
There’s a lot of cool illustration and painting coming out of Russia these days and much of it seems to be influenced by American popular culture. I know nothing about this illustrator (no Wikipedia page yet and minimal web presence), other then he fuses old pin-up style illustration with 40′s and 50′s propaganda design. Some of his pin-ups are direct copies of existing art such as the Gil Elvgren girl below right. If anyone speaks Russian or knows anything about Valery Barykin (his/her name is even spelled a few different ways) please let me know. All I know is he’s pretty damn good.