Olympic Games 1936 Berlin

11th Olympiad


Sports: 24

Events: 150

National Teams: 49

Participants: 4,484


poster olympic games 1936 berlin

Design by: Franz Würbel
Size: 25,5 x 39 cm (small)
Copies small: 33.000
Size: 62 x 100 cm (large)
Copies large: 243.000
Comment: There are 19 different languages

   Olympic Poster 1936:

The first important task was the designing of an official publicity poster for the Games, and as early as June, 1934 a competition was announced by the Publicity Committee for the Eleventh Olympic Games, 49 outstanding German graphic artists enrolling, out of which 44 submitted 59 posters. The result, however, was unsatisfactory. The threefold object, that of indicating the importance of the Olympic Games, calling attention to Berlin as the host city and of publicizing the Games in an effective and internationally understandable manner, was not achieved. In view of the regulation of the Reich Chamber of Culture to the effect that prizes offered in a competition must be awarded regardless of whether or not the results are satisfactory, the five best designs were duly selected and the artists rewarded. 

The first prize was awarded to the Dresden artist, Willy Petzold, whose design, an antique bronze head bearing a wreath of victory, was inadequate for the official Olympic poster although it appeared to be suitable for publicizing the Olympic Art Exhibition and was later used for this purpose. The Publicity Committee, which was responsible for advertising the Games, then assumed active charge of the selection of an official poster and engaged a series of artists for this purpose. From the designs submitted, that of the Berlin painter and graphic artist, Würbel, was finally selected. His poster revealed the quadriga of the Brandenburg Gate as the landmark of the host city, Berlin, and behind this the shadowy figure of a wreathed victor with his arm raised in the Olympic greeting, this symbolizing Olympic sport. The five rings were also included in the background and the words, "Berlin 1936, Olympic Games, 1st-16th August," were inscribed in the capitals of the Brandenburg Gate. The latter was blue-grey and the inscription the same colour except in a lighter tone. The figure of the victor was portrayed in olive-green against a grey and rose background and the five Olympic rings were given their original colours of blue, yellow, black, green and red. The poster was distributed to and displayed in every country of the world and was issued in all of the important languages.

( Source document:   Official Report 1936, page 124)


Other Olympic Official Poster: