Every now and again I like to take a day off to take in some culture, so yesterday I visited the Museum of Childhood
to see the 'Century of the Olympic Poster
' exhibition (see my original post about this exhibition here
). The posters are fantastic, the exhibition takes you chronologically through the collection, from 1851, to the London bid posters and then finally to the London 2012 logo. Most can be dated by the design alone, in particular the David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein ones for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, as they are sooo 80's.
For me, the best by far is the Mexico'68 Olympic logo and poster. It is one of my all-time favourite pieces of design and it was great to see it in the flesh and especially to see the fluro pink and green version which I had never seen before.
What I found really interesting is the mixture of poster designs for each Games, some Games had 2 or 3 totally different styled posters, as though a different person had designed each one with no consideration of the others, whereas the best years had a very obvious style, even though different artist and designers had been invited to create them.
I hope that the organisers of London 2012 have seen this exhibition and understand that getting a branding company or a big name ad agency is not necessarily the best way to create a successful and memorable Games marketing campaign. Instead inviting people like, Damien Hirst, Banksy, Martin Parr or Bridget Riley - world renowned artists, designers and photographers to create a truly British campaign would create enormous media interest and create a campaign, modern and true to the diversity & creativity of the UK. Because at the moment the 2012 logo would look right at home on the 1984 LA Games posters and does not inspire anything vaguely British or modern.