An animated gif poster from Goetz Gramlich
received from Goetz Gramlich
Animated gif poster by Goetz Gramlich for "Herbstzeitlose", a yearly autumn jazz festival taking it's name from a flower that blossoms in autumn.
Several of the people I met during the recent Weltformat Poster Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, mentioned that the traditional poster printed on paper is being replaced more and more by large scale electronic displays, starting in the big cities, and indoors, for example in subway and railway stations, but now also coming to the streets, both as huge billboards and eye level displays, see the examples below).
The advantages for the clients and the publishing companies are obvious: After a large initial investment for the display, there are no more printing and distributing problems and costs, more posters can be shown (in succession) in the same space, the posters can be changed depending if people are hungry at noon or want to see a movie in the evening. Above all, the display can be animated which will always attract greater attention than a static display: We are programmed to pay more attention to a bear running towards us than to a beautiful tree or whatever smiling quietly in our direction.
The question is if the traditional graphic designer is ready for the change, or if that field will be taken over by the people who do TV commercials or music videos? Are the professionals who have the training, experience and sensitivity to make beautiful and powerful pictures (as all graphic designers claim they do) also up to the task of handling electronic displays in motion?
Help is on the way: The animated gif is a display technique somewhere between a static picture and a movie. Although it comes from the stone age of the internet (there was an animated gif with snowflakes on Posterpage in 2001), it recently had a Renaissance and gained huge popularity among teenagers. It is easy to make, easy to insert in a web page or a social website, and is usually so short that it has all the charms of a twitter message.
I was discussing all these topics with Goetz Gramlich who attended the festival as the new president of the association 100 Beste Plakate. He also runs a graphic design studio gggrafik design, and teaches at the Hochschule Mannheim (DE) and is the founder of the very successful yearly poster event Mut zur Wut. He explained that he is trying to interest clients, students and poster competitions in moving displays and animated gifs, and hopes that one day we will have a poster competition devoted entirely to them.
Electronic displays in Shanghai, 2007