The Post Office could hardly refuse to issue stamps for the 1948 Olympic Games, as the precedent had been established by host nations in previous years. At first just two stamps were envisaged, 2½d and 3d, later extended to include the 6d and 1/-. An air letter using the design of the 6d stamp was also planned.
Consulting with the Council of Industrial Design, several artists, and the four main stamp printers, were approached. From the designs submitted the Council chose work by G. Knipe of Harrison & Sons, S. D. Scott of Waterlows, Edmund Dulac, Percy Metcalfe and Abram Games. Before these were shown to the King, the Postmaster General felt another option should be offered, and recommended a design by John Armstrong.
Copyright doubts were expressed over Knipe's design, as it showed two athletes taken from a photograph: it was therefore withdrawn.
The King approved the favoured designs, two by Armstrong in the event being presented as reserves. That by Scott was selected for the 6d as the design was suited for both photogravure (stamp) and letterpress (air letter).
The stamps were issued on 29 July 1948, and were additionally overprinted for use in Bahrain, Kuwait, Muscat, Morocco Agencies and Tangier.
Submitted design by George Bellow
Submitted design by John Farleigh
Submitted design by John Armstrong
Submitted design by G. Knipe
Issued 2 ½d stamp by Percy Metcalfe
Issued 3d stamp by Abram Games
Issued 6d stamp by S. D. Scott
Issued 1/- stamp by Edmund Dulac