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A Century of Olympic Posters Book

by Laurice Parkin
on 19 June 2008

As we all watch the Olympic athletes take their talent to the worldwide stage less than two months from now at the 2008 Summer Games, graphic design aficionados will be watching another kind of talent on display: the posters. Throughout the history of the games, the posters have provided a unique visual record, evoking everything from time, geography, style and sometime politics.

"A Century of Olympic Posters", published this month from Abrams, traces the evolution of the poster from the first official one for Stockholm in 1912 until the present. The range of styles is as fascinating as the historical context and the evolution of graphic design itself. Sixties Op-Art is perfectly reflected in Mexico's poster in 1968. And, Tokyo's stark minimalist take on the 1964 games reflects a timelessness that still looks incredibly modern today.


In conjunction with the book, at London's Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, you can see the Museum's collection of posters as well as various ephemera from the games. A selection of posters has also been made available for purchase at the V&A shop.

A Century of Olympic Posters
Through 7 September 2008
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9PA
United Kingdom map
tel. +44 (0)20 8983 5200

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