The early Olympic Posters were used as more a means of advertising and a way of divulging functional information such as ticket prices and venue details. Later on with the advent of instant mass communication and increased professionalization of graphic design the posters became part of a wider sophisticated visual identity programme. There is an excitement about the revealing of the imagery for each games and been a subject for national pride can be a controversial and contentious issue, as the furore over the Wolf Olins London 2012 logo shows. Its idiosyncratic nature proved to not be everybody’s cup of tea that coupled with the oft quoted amount the design cost led to typical public outrage.
The artistic and the sporting are central to the Olympic notions of physical, moral and aesthetic excellence. The Olympic founder De Coubertin wanted to keep alive these ancient Greek classical ideals and he posters for the first games in 1896 in Athens were illustrative depicting classical scenes and the classical theme was predominant for the first half of the twentieth century. This connection to the ancient origins and ideals of Greece are always in the games DNA.
The constant emblem of the Olympic games are the rings designed by a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1912, he is also regarded as the father of the modern day Olympics, and the founder of the International Olympic Committee. Baron Pierre de Coubertin wanted a symbol unity for the games a common flag that people could come under to compete. The original symbolism of the five differently coloured rings where that they represented the continents the athletes came from. They are interlocked to infer a unity a coming together and democratization of competition. The colours of the rings and the white background occur at least once in every flag of the countries involved. The design was conceived and first made in 1914 but was not flown as a flag in an Olympic games until 1920 in Antwerp since then it has been employed at every games on posters, mascots, associated licensing agreements and paraphenalia(Apart from the cancelled 1940 Helsinki games).