'A Postmark Betrayed this HQ. Use the Army Post Office', 1942
Colour lithograph information poster, after Abram Games (1914-1996), printed by Stafford and Co Ltd, Netherfield, for HM Stationery Office, 1942.
Born in 1914 to Latvian and Russo-Polish parents in Whitechapel, East London, Abram Games joined the Army in 1939 and was quickly designated the role of draughtsman. By 1942 he had been promoted to captain and was the only Official War Poster Artist for the rest of the Second World War.
The Controller of Publicity at the General Post Office, Alexander Highet, was renowned for being precise when he commissioned posters for the Post Office. When he saw this poster by Games, with an 'imaginary' postmark, he argued that it breached Post Office regulations.
After the war his freelance career went from strength to strength with commissions for the Festival of Britain, the United Nations, Shell, Guinness and the BBC. After a career spanning over 60 years, Games died in 1996 leaving a legacy of daring, distinctive and elegant images.
Justly famous for his innovative and bold poster commissions, Games claimed that the perfect design employed 'maximum meaning, minimum means'.
As Official War Artist Games produced about 100 extraordinary posters for the British Army, ranging in theme from recruitment, maintaining security through to personal hygiene and post-war re-training.
From a collection of 45 posters from World War Two (1939-1945).
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection