How London and a few creative minds got behind Usain Bolt.
The 2012 Olympics are done and done. Many images were etched into our minds— not least of which was that Bolt Pose. The Archer. The To Di World. Call it what you want, but if it was memorable in Beijing, it took a turn for legendary in London.
We had a hunch this might happen. Which is why we got the city of London on board well in advance of that 100m victory lap. The “London Can Bolt” campaign was executed in typical PUMA fashion: a bunch of sport, a dash of art, and lots of character.
In collaboration with PUMA and London-based agency, Neighbour, photographer Tom Oxley shot the campaign from East London to Trafalgar Square to Embankment. With his keen eye for both London and photography, he created a set of images which artist Kate Gibb was eager to work with.
Gibb transferred each of Oxley’s photographs to silkscreen. By adding and playing around with color, the images began to develop. The final illustrations hung in their “galleries” for several weeks prior to the Games and throughout the events: wheat-pasted in Shoreditch, painted across a Carnaby Street façade, showcased in neon frames in the PUMA YARD.
“The lo-fi approach suited his audience and him,” says Gibb. “Laid back, calm, and really bloody good.”