Uwe Loesch - Nevertheless Posters
Verlag Hermann Schmidt, Luisenstr. 6, Mainz (D)(1997)
tel +49-6131-479103, fax +49-6131-479104
Hardcover, 288 pages, about 200 color reproductions, 29 x 21 cm; ISBN 3-87439-425-5; DM 148 (about 85 US$)
in german and english
Uwe Loesch is among the most famous contemporary german poster designers, has won countless awards, is a widely traveling jury member and had a solo exhibition in the prestigious Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg last summer for which an accompanying book has now been published.
It gives a good overview on Loesch's poster work since 1979, when his first designs started to appear in international biennale exhibitions. By 1982 he had established his mark with the minimalist poster "Punktum" that received the Grand Prix in Lahti in 1983 and made it clear that Loesch is no ordinary designer: It is not immediately obvious what the poster is for, there is no product or company or institution with the name "Punktum" and if you get real close, all you can read in the margin is the name of the printer, or so you think. The poster is unforgettable by it's simplicity and elegance, I had known it for a long time and I am happy to report that after reading the book I finally realized that it is an advertisement for the company that printed it.
So, after a century of "Look! See! Buy!" posters, here comes an independent thinker who says "Wait a minute, if everybody keeps shouting louder and louder, no one will be able to hear, much less understand or believe, anything". As a consequence, he whispers and thereby tries to activate the listener. This philosophical, or in the final analysis, political approach underlies most of Uwe Loesch's posters and may also be the reason for his popularity in the graphic design community. What a relief to finally get rid of the burden to communicate everything at any price. About a dozen articles in the book from philosophers (I think), museum curators and poster designers, mostly reprints from earlier publications, elaborate further on these basic questions of visual communication and Uwe Loesch's highly creative answers to them.
Punktum, campaign for the introduction of a new scanner system
1982, client Kirschbaum Laserscan, Duesseldorf
Grand Prix at 5th Int. Poster Biennale Lahti
Migration of Nations
1991, client The political theater Kom(m)oedchen, Duesseldorf
Real Emotion Graphic Design of the 90th
1996, client Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg
The quest for new ways has its price. The ferocious battle that master typographer Loesch wages against readab i lity leaves its traces on almost every page of the book and is highly successful. The proofreader and his spelling checker was its first victim.
Nevertheless, this is a beautiful and exciting book, that has just received the Award for Typographic Excellence from the Type Directors Club of New York. If you like Uwe Loesch's posters you will find lots of them in it, and if you need a little help to understand them, it would be unwise not to have it.