london olympics posters from 1908, 1948 and 2012
This week London is about to stage its third Summer Olympics games and it is the only city to do it 3 times. 1st it was in 1908 then 1948 and now its in 2012.
Olympic posters have always been fascinating cultural pointers, these posters are signs of the times and sum up culture of London.
1908 London Olympic Poster
No official poster for the modern Olympic Games would be produced until the Games in Stockholm in 1912. The picture you see is no poster, it`s a Programme cover from the Olympic Games 1908. Designe by A.S. Cope
1948 London Olympic Poster
An official poster was produced in connection with the Games. As there was not time to stage a competition for the design of the poster, the choice rested between a few designs submitted to the Executive Committee.
As regards production and distribution, 100,000 copies of the official poster were printed.
The first step was to approach the governing bodies in Great Britain of the seventeen sports concerned in the Games. These bodies accepted quantities varying from 400 to 2,000, covering a total of nearly 10,000 for distribution among branches and affiliated bodies. All travel and tourist agencies with offices in London were approached, as also were all airlines with services operating to and from Britain. This accounted for a further 6,000-7,000.
A circular letter from the Director of Organisation inviting co-operation in the distribution was sent to the Town Clerks of nearly 300 towns and cities in Great Britain, and to the Directors of Education of all counties. This was followed by parcels of posters with varying numbers in proportion to the size of the towns or district concerned. The response was excellent. Only three towns failed to co-operate, and a large majority promised to display the posters on corporation vehicles, in schools and sports pavilions, and in public places in their areas. Every London Borough was covered, and each area in which sections of the Games were to take place was given special attention. In addition, every housing centre was given a generous supply. Repeat orders were being received right up to the time of the Games, and the whole 100,000 were eventually distributed.
Source document: (Official report 1948, page 112)
2012 London Olympic Poster
Anthea Hamilton creates narrative environments through sculptural assemblage and collage. Her work in part is informed by the history of physical prowess and representations of the human, especially female, body. In Divers the poised legs seem to capture a gymnastic pose or show, perhaps a synchronised swimmer diver holding a balletic position. Interestingly, the only Olympic sport exclusively contested by women is synchronised swimming. Divers evokes the engaging theatricality of synchronised swimming, perhaps the most artistically challenging sport of the London 2012 Olympic Games.