Rene Wanner's Poster Page

News: "Mut zur Wut" posters now in the streets of Heidelberg (DE)
pictures received from Goetz Gramlich & Alex Henninger

Thirty of the winning posters of the competition Mut zur Wut are now shown in the streets of Heidelberg (DE), they were on Posterpage previously. All 100 from the shortlist are indoors at the Justiz.

While there are other street poster exhibitions, for example in Lucerne (CH) during the Weltformat Festival, in Paris for "Posters for Tomorrow", in Mexico for "Segunda Llamada", the unique feature of the Heidelberg exhibition is that it is not really an exhibition in the strict sense: The posters are just posted on the regular advertising spaces provided for the commercial posters, often side by side with them.

This is, imho, a good thing. The side by side comparison is the real test if the poster works, or is just an ivory tower exercise. Will it be noticed and understood, will it stand out from the visual noise in a city?

The "Mut zur Wut" street exhibition is a step in the right direction, but is too small. Bigger steps would include formal poster analysis where questions like "How many people see the poster, how many remember it and how long, what do they remember from the poster" are asked. Juries in poster competitions would have to be composed of representatives of the intended audience, including people from the streets of China and Iran, not of colleagues of the participants.

Commercial posters are closely monitored for efficacy by everybody paying the bill for designing, printing and posting. Will I be re-elected if I pay for a poster? Will enough people come to my concert? Can I increase the number of visitors to the Zoo, will the demo against nuclear power plants be a success? Rarely are the students or participants in poster competitions (or the juries) trained to pay attention to the effects of a poster. "Would my mother understand it?" is the only test that is sometimes applied. That simple test at least weeds out posters that work only if you understand english.

Without the feedback, academic poster design may be an essential part of the education of a graphic designer, like quantum mechanics for physicists, or biochemistry for doctors, but will not be understod nor appreciated nor enjoyed by the public. Posters that do not reach the target audience will disappear.

Can you spot the "Mut zur Wut" posters in the picture at left within 3 seconds?























The poster Pornstick by Daniel Kunze created a little problem, as reported by the Heidelberg daily Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung:

The street exhibition was officially opened in the Heidelberg Court House. All the posters from the street were shown at the opening ceremony and the Chief Judge was a bit irritaded when he noted the selfie stick poster (probably more about the copulation selfie than about the stick), He called the Attorney General for advice, but the Attorney could see nothing wrong or illegal in the poster, getting help from the Mayor of Heidelberg who reminded everybody that "Freedom of Expression" is a human right.

Klaus Staeck, a resident of Heidelberg, a poster designer and also a professional lawyer famous for having won hundreds of court cases against people who wanted to ban his posters, also sided with the Attorney and the Mayor. Nevertheless, the Judge banned the poster anyway, from the court house and from the public advertising spaces in the city, citing consideration for victims of rape cases that may have to come to the court as witnesses and should not be exposed to sexy pictures. It was not an act of censorship, no, no!

The organizers of the "Mut zur Wut" competition then rented private advertising space (see left and above), over which the City has no jurisdiction, and showed the poster there. All ended well and everybody was happy, and the number of selfies taken doubled overnight I think.

What a city!

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