The making of the 1958 poster
FIFA World Football Museum
MID CENTURY STYLE The three main portraits in the 1958 posters were inspired by recollections of covers from a very popular swedish sports and adventure magazine called Rekordmagasinet. Thord Lindblom was the illustrator behind the action-packed covers. Circulation numbers were vast and still to this day it is not uncommon to stumble across copies of the magazine in flea-markets.
Further below are examples of a graphic design method often used in mid century design and adopted for the 1958 layout: an outer shape filled with photographic content. Left and centre are designs made by the great Paul Rand, one of the most influential graphic designers in the world during the last fifty years. The poster on the right was made by Swedish designer Ragnar Sandgren, artist name ”Ranke”.
CARICATURES To liven things up photographs from various archives were mixed with newly drawn caricatures of important players. Vital doses of zeitgeist were provided by photos and collages of memorabilia.
PHOTO GEMS During research for the the 1958 poster a handful of fantastic photos taken by the then young and aspiring photographer Rolf Ohlson surfaced. Rolf’s mother worked at Hindås Turisthotel where the Brazilian team made camp and young Rolf became friends with the relaxed Brazilian team. Thankfully security back in the fifties could be a far cry from what it has been forced into over time and Rolf was able to capture the soon to be superstar Pelé writing a letter home; a truly unique shot. Rolf was eighteen at the time of the World Cup 1958 and afterwards he went on to have a successful career in photography.
Left: Djalma Santos and Pelé relaxing.
Center: Writing a letter home. Note the hand of Djalma Santos holding a cigarette.
Right: Swedish king Gustaf VI Adolf and the Jules Rimet Cup. A generally quiet and humble king looks like he is about to steal the prize in this hilarious shot.