Festival of Britain

1951 (published)


Height: 76.2 cm, Width: 50.8 cm

E.307-2011 PDP

Poster, 'Festival of Britain', unknown artist, UK, 1951

Festival of Britain poster featuring the Festival emblem suspended above a green map of Britain against blue sea and sky

Abram Games was one of the most important British graphic designers of the 20th century. He came to prominence designing information posters for the War Office during World War II; later important clients included London Transport, BOAC and British Railways. Games' iconic symbol of the Festival of Britain was used throughout the Festival, on posters, guides, leaflets, souvenirs, on the side of the Festival Ship Campania, and at events all over the country. It combined the essential elements of what would become known as the Festival Style: it was romantic, patriotic, but also jaunty and modern. In this poster the emblem is combined with an evocative image of the British Isles, underlining the nationwide reach of the Festival of Britain. It was described by William Feaver as: 'Britannia resurgent stuck like a golf tee into the map of England, pinpointing and pirouetting with a subliminal suggestion of St Paul's looming through the war clouds, the phoenix arising and taking it on the chin.'

Location: Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case Y, shelf 71, box C

View this object on the V&A website