The posters for the Olympics immortalize the event long after the games themselves have ended. Over the years, artists like David Hockney and Andy Warhol have created designs for the games. Recently, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced their list of contenders.
This list of 12 artists, narrowed down by an expert panel that included Sir Nicolas Serota of the Tate and Ruth Mackenzie of the Cultural Olympiad, includes many prominent British artists: Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Rachel Whiteread.
The committee had originally started with a list of more than 100 artists, which interestingly included painting, installation and conceptual artists, but no graphic designers. The images produced by the artists will be shown in a free exhibition at Tate Britain as part of the London 2012 festival. The committee hasn't shied away from courting controversy, naming Chris Ofili and Tracey Emin, both of whom have caused outrage with their sexual and religious artworks.
Emin reacted to her nomination with suprise and pleasure, telling the Guardian, "the posters are intrinsic to the Olympics, they are the things that are going to stay around."
The Telegraph quoted Emin as saying, “I’m planning to take London landmarks and put words beside them that are really strong: encouragement, belief, challenge.”
Posters have been a tradition since 1912 and the Olympics website describes the process and importance of the games poster here.