Soviet futuristic illustrations of the 1970s

On IO9, Vincze Miklos rounds up some of the finest sovkitsch futuristic imagery from three 1970s issues of the Soviet YA technology magazine Youth Technics (1, 2, 3) and other sources, presenting a gallery of streamlined jetpack socialism.

Some of the most famous images of Soviet futurism come out of the 1920s and 30s, when the Revolution was young and propaganda posters were like stark works of realist art. But the nation continued to produce works of incredible futurism throughout its reign — including during the trippy period before the Iron Curtain fell in the late twentieth century. Here are some visions of tomorrow, from the USSR in the 1970s.

The groovy socialist world of 1970s Soviet futurism


  1. “Singing tomorrows” — the inevitable glorious Soviet scientific future, which will come to pass sooner if only we – and by ‘we’ I mean ‘you’ – make sacrifices today. What sacrifices? Oh, petty little things like quality and availability of food and consumer goods; civil liberties; nuclear safety standards…

    1. Yeah. It’s a good thing people in the U.S. have never been called upon to sacrifice civil liberties, food quality and availability, nor nuclear safety standards. Puts me in mind of Galbraith’s quip that “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.”

    2. Yeah, we capitalists got OUR jet packs and flying cars, just like we were promised. And everybody is healthy and trim thanks to our superior foodstuffs.

  2. Even Soviet visions of the future where behind the times. These look like cool 1960’s Italian designs – where is Barbarella and the Planet of the Vampires when you need them?

      1. Man, I was about to make a “JET ENGINES ON EVERYTHING!” joke, but I guess we’re LIVING in the joke?

  3. Looking through the article pages, this seems pretty ordinary. Not that much different from Popular Science. Lots of stuff about vehicles and industry. And exercise machines!

  4. Some old Soviet stuff looks great in real life (and, as euansmith suggested, look like it is out of Thunderbirds) – like the Ekranoplan/ Caspian Sea Monster:

    I also prefer their elegant manned space rockets (the R-7 Family with those nice flared booster skirts) to the more tubular Western model – they’re broadly the same sort of design used now for launching everyone to the ISS as launched the first Sputnik in 1957.

    1. Agree! Some of my most favorite design is from the Soviet space era, from the rockets to the bold propaganda.

      Nice link Cory!

    2. That is an epic shot of the Black Sea Beast; like a cross between Chris Foss and HR Giger. A triumph of Soviet Engineerink.

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