WEB POSTER EXHIBITION - Impro Plakate by Ine Ilg and Ruedy Wyss in Willisau

Visitors to Niklaus Troxler's Jazz Festival in Willisau, Switzerland, will have a chance to see a music poster exhibition by two of Troxler's colleagues, who like him are not only graphic designers but also initiators, driving forces and longtime organizers of music festivals, and of course also highly motivated creators of the corresponding publicity: Ine Ilg in Aalen, southern Germany, with the association Kunterbunt and Ruedi Wyss in Zuerich with the events Impro, Taktlos and Tonart.

The festival and the exhibition runs from August 30 to September 2, 2001, and Willisau, 20 km west of Lucerne, is such a small town that you can't miss them once you get there. The festival program is also the poster catalogue.

One of the posters for the Willisau Jazz Festival by Niklaus Troxler The whole Troxler clan is actively helping with the festival (the program lists 14 family members in various functions from campground toilet cleaner to stage manager to taxi driver), and artistic director Niklaus himself is not above personally hanging the posters in his exhibitions The exhibition poster, by Niklaus Troxler (both Ilg and Troxler agreed that it is very much in Ine Ilg's style)

Ine Ilg

Ine Ilg, in front of two of my favorite posters Ine Ilg studied Visual Communication at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung in Schwaebisch Gmuend (DE), and worked for Baumann & Baumann before founding her own studio in Aalen (DE). She does corporate identity, catalogues and pamphlets, posters and exhibition design, and recently gave a talk and showed a fascinating video on her work at the Forum Typographie, Weimar 2001

and that's Ine Ilg's favorite

Ruedy Wyss

Corporate identity

Ruedi Wyss

Many posters for the Taktlos festival use the the Eurostyle font, in all variations, sometimes mutilated beyond recognition. By using this font, Wyss wants to emphasize the european identity in the field of contemporary music, which is increasingly dominated by America.
Ruedi Wyss, born in 1949, received his training in graphic design at the Schule fuer Gestaltung in Biel (CH), and is also a professional "Werbeleiter" (publicity director). Between 1974 and 1989 he run his own studio in Bern with up to 10 employees, and is now heading the graphic design section at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung und Kunst in Zuerich.

I like the harmony in composition and the rich texture underlying many of Wyss's posters, and there is more to it than meets the eye at first glance, as I found out by talking to Wyss:

While some of the posters look so improvised that Troxler suggested in his introductory speech that they were probably designed in the last minute at the printer's shop, they are in fact planned with mathematical precision. Wyss took Troxler's comment as a compliment, as proof that he had succeeded in keeping them lighthearted and playful.

In the series for the Impro concerts below, designed before and during the Gulf war in 1991, Wyss began thinking about the absurdity of simultaneous events: A music festival is planned in Switzerland, and at the same time a war is planned in the Gulf ! In the first poster, before the outbreak, he used newspaper clippings and photos of helicopter crews practicing on an aircraft carrier, as a background. While designing the next poster, he heard on the radio that the war had started, and showed Bush and Saddam, in alarming orange, and a flying aircraft. The final poster, in bitter magenta, evokes destruction and despair.

Looking at the posters at close range, I was not even aware of all this, and did not expect to find a political message in the colored background texture of a concert poster. The people at the billboard company APG were less naive and refused to post the February issue in the streets!

September 1990

February 1991

April 1991




The Willisau poster exhibitions are true multi-media and multi-generation events: Thomas Ackermann plays saxophone

home   previous exhibitions  page last revised on August 30, 2001 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /