Arsenal’s recovery from the war from a programme perspective took a little longer than many. Single sheets dominated the first post-war season before a limited, monochrome stepping stone was produced for 1946/47.
The Editorial Note was penned by ‘Marksman’ and it’ll be interesting to see in these pages the number of different pen names used by editors.
For the next 2 years Arsenal produced an almost art deco styling on the cover that worked well, especially with the old style footballs marking one edge of the surround. The introduction of red made a vast, positive, difference and the cannon image is, I think, excellent.
Emboldened by the use of colour, the 1949/50 season saw red dominate the cover - something that would continue throughout the coming decade. Sadly the cannon was lost (except as part of the Arsenal badge, and a fixation with Highbury stadium began. Sadly, if 1947/48 saw a return to form, 49/50 saw it dip.
Another large format programme. A lot of clubs have tried them over the years but don’t often persist to long. They are clearly too big for the average man’s pocket. At least here the awful font for Arsenal FC from the preceding season has been replaced..
The image of the stadium has, temporarily, been changed to a line drawing to accommodate the giant photo of the F.A Cup in commemoration of winning the previous season’s competition.
Arsenal changed the programme format drastically for 1951/52. The size reverts to normal, red still dominates as does an image of the stadium. This issue is for a floodlight friendly, a feature we will see a lot of as clubs celebrated the ability to play under lights. You can see that the match must have been an entertaining one. Some of you may feel that programmes, especially those used in books like this should be pristine, but I quite like to see that a programme has been read and enjoyed.
Another change in presentation for the next season. This time a less dramatic alteration but the introduction of an action photograph on the front is a excellent feature.
As you can see below the reversion, in 1954/55, from the action shot back to the stadium view stayed throughout the remainder of the time we’re covering here. The only minor alterations were a zooming in, then a different perspective.