Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Brief History of Winter Olympics Poster Art

Like snowboarding, art is nominally a subjective medium, but like slopestyle and the halfpipe that doesn't prevent people from trying to judge it. Today we've amassed the poster art from the history of the Winter Olympics so that we can all practice for the Olympics by having a good topical judge. See what you think...

1924 Chamonix, France

The very first Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics poster and I suspect we've already found the winner.
Gigantic eagle attacks bobsledding fishermen

No helmets, not even a woolly hat - Men were men in the first Winter Olympics

1928 St. Moritz, Switzerland

Just like Switzerland itself, this is just a bit on the dull side.

1932 Lake Placid, United States

Lake Placid strangely didn't go for the giant man-eating crocodile motif, but instead went for a more low-key winter sports theme.

Other than being dull, this poster loses extra points for the sheer uselessness of the map

1932, the world's first half-pipe and the brave souls who tried to ride it in a sled.

1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Great design, shame about all the awkward Nazi context.

1948 St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz again, but this time they got a whole load more creative.

1952 Oslo, Norway

They just copied the 1928 St. Moritz poster and added an extra blue cross

1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

1960 Squaw Valley, United States

The US guys sure love a flag and a pointless map on their Olympic posters. This one is more accurate, but it's hardy a useful navigational aid.

1964 Innsbruck, Austria

1968 Grenoble, France

1972 Sapporo, Japan

Considering the elements they had to work with here, this one is surprisingly crap. They just took them all and stacked them nonchalantly.

I've no idea what the massive sink-hole at the bottom signifies

1976 Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck again. They didn't try so hard the second time around.

1980 Lake Placid, United States

Lake Placid again, they just took the Innsbruck poster, reversed the colours and sharpened the corners.

Well that was a twenty year period of dull posters. Fortunately this next one livened things up, shortly before they livened things up a little too much a few years later.

1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia

They started off with the first good Winter Olympics logo.

Then they went to town with the arty. I really like these ones for the individual sports

The Phantom dominated the speed skating events in 1984

1988 Calgary, Canada

After the excitement of the Sarajevo, Winter Olympic poster creativity was brought back down to earth by the Canadians, who copied the logo idea a little too faithfully and then just threw it on a crappy background to produce this.

1992 Albertville, France

The sun has got his top hat on.

I like the ones they produced for the individual sports, nice and minimal.

1994 Lillehammer, Norway

Windows '94

1998 Nagano, Japan

The first Winter Olympics to include snowboarding and recreational drugs. I think the snowboarder was the little red fella,

 or maybe the blue one? Who knows, I'm completely off my face.

Also this was the Olympics with the most perplexing addition to Winter Olympic posters, the peaceful image of a bird on a ski stick - what better way to represent a huge competitive sporting event.

The designer was probably on drugs

2002 Salt Lake, United States

Back to the US, and back to the Olympic poster default option of the flag and a snowflake logo.

Although for the sake of all our sanity they have finally dropped the maps.

2006 Turin, Italy

I like this one, despite them not spelling Turin correctly.

And here's the first poster I can find of snowboarding as an individual event. 

2010 Vancouver, Canada

The designers for Vancouver produced an overall scheme that they then pulled through all their promotional materials, unfortunately the resulting poster from that process was a bit of a compromise.

The same idea was used to create posters for all three of the snowboarding events.

2014 Sochi, Russia

And finally we come to the newest poster, and the Sochi organisers have gone with this odd quilt looking thing. They didn't even bother to create a logo. If it wasn't for that crappy bird on a stick from Negano I would have put this down as the worst one of all time.

Hang on just one second, I've just found this beauty on their official merchandise site, featuring some classic stock photography of a woman who can't carry a snowboard

Now we have a winner.

© 1896. Design by Main-Blogger - Tinkering by Zhang - Colouring in by Illicit