Urban guerrilla graphic design

May 29th, 2011

Logo and insignia designs of European violent left-wing groups of the mid- to late-20th century. Five-pointed stars seem to have been mandatory.

Rote Armee Fraktion

Rote Armee Fraktion (aka the Baader-Meinhoff Gruppe, Germany, 1970-1998). Features a stylised Heckler & Koch MP5 machine gun.

Revolutionäre Zellen

Revolutionäre Zellen (Germany, 1973-1993). Curious typography.


Partido Revolucionário do Proletariado -Brigadas Revolucionárias (PRP-BR, Revolutionary Party of the Proletariat – Revolutionary Brigades, Portugal, 1970-2002). The only ones without a five-pointed star.


Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista Primero de Octubre (GRAPO, First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups, Spain, 1975-2007). Nice colour scheme.


Forças Populares 25 de Abril (FP-25, Popular Forces 25 April, Portugal, 1980-1987). Diagonal design similar to the flags of Tanzania and Namibia.


Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP/C, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, Turkey, 1978-present).


Cellules Communistes Combattantes (CCC, Communist Combatant Cells, Belgium, 1984-1986).

Brigate Rosse

Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades, Italy, 1967-1988). This insignia appears to be a digitised version of the banner that was shown in the famous photograph of Aldo Moro taken during his kidnapping and murder in 1978.

Action Directe

Action directe (Direct Action, France, 1979-1987).

November 17

Epanastatiki Organosi dekaefta Noemvri (17 N, Revolutionary Organization 17 November, Greece, 1975-2002). Similar to the flag of Vietnam.

One Response to Urban guerrilla graphic design

  1. I like the Forças Populares 25 de Abril insignia. It immediately made me think of African flags and, in particular, the Mozambiquan flag. It bears the, most likely FRELIMO-inspired, national communist insignia: a book, a hoe and Kalashnikov rifle superimposed on a yellow star.

    On arrival at Maputo International Airport last year, I was greeted by this very colourful national insigna, right inside the arrivals hall. It seems to be made from carved or moulded concrete blocks.

    FRELIMO, the ex-Marxist ruling party (having defeated RENAMO, the South African-supported puppet paramilitary in the civil war), have replaced their “hoe and sickle” logo with something altogether more ideologically acceptable.

    Historical progress towards freedom and development has, I guess, been replaced by food and dancing.

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