Olympic Record

Olympic Record (U.K.) / c. 1919

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Design: The label design is suddenly up-to-date; instead of being ten years behind its time, it is now five years ahead. A major shift has been made in the company's approach to marketing. Instead of relying on the talents of the tradespeople at the local print shop, who used commonly available typographic elements (see the previous page), the company has approached advertising specialists at a commercial art studio, who produced for them a custom-drawn 'logotype,' or 'corporate signature,' intended to impress a positive impression of the company's 'personality' on buyers. The upwardly-mobile brush-script logo would reach definitive form in the mid-1920s when it acquired a concave-ended swash underline (the Coca-Cola and Ford logos being perhaps the most well-known examples of this genre). The entire label has not yet come under the control of the designer (compare with the Bertelsmann label of the 1950s), since the imprinting has been somewhat 'thrown together,' but a start has been made.

History: According to UK collector and musicologist Norman Field, "Olympic was first produced by the Sound Recording Company for Jacob Levy's Phono & Cycle Stores of Whitechapel, London. It appeared probably in the 1913-14 season, and ceased during WWI. In August 1919 Levy's started the label again, wholesaling it to dealers. These new red Olympics started again at 100, but without the J.A.- prefix. They were cloned from the Popular label, which were made from masters recorded by the SRC and pressed by Crystalate." The first of the modern Olympic Games took place in 1896; the label name may have been based on the event's growing popularity. Label scan courtesy of music researcher and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.


Design variations of this label in this decade (click on image to view page):


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