Despite the pandemic, the graphic design scenes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have once again participated enthusiastically in the competition to find the 100 bests posters from the German-speaking world, with the jury receiving 1,973 posters from 600 different entrants. The top 100 designs will be on display for three weeks from late June at Berlin’s Kulturforum. This exhibition, organised by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Kunstbibliothek together with the association 100 beste Plakate e.V., marks the first stop on the exhibition’s 2021 tour.
“Smile smile smile for a while”, reads one of the winning posters. Accompanied by a smiling face and a prominent tick, the message is as clear as it gets – and quite impossible to resist. A good poster usually doesn’t just catch the eye, it also calls on the viewer to engage directly with the image: Read me! Notice me! Remember me! Feel with me! Each of the 100 winning posters from across the German-speaking world makes you want to dive into a dialogue with graphic design. And humour and mischief are often part and parcel of the posters: the sun riding a bicycle, a seagull eyeing off an ice-cream cone, a sofa that likes to dance. Anyone who can look back on 2020 and still have a grin on their face is doing pretty well.
In addition to the usual impressive approaches to typography and colour- and form-based compositions, the 2020 selection is notable for the diverse use of photographic elements. The 100 designs exhibit a fascinating wealth of approaches to the combination of illustration and photography, from collages and photographic pairings to the addition of drawn elements to photos, appropriations, and techniques of overlaying and melding. In the creative space between illustration and photography, elements of narrative emerge, by turns spatial and poetic.
This year’s jury was made up of: Xavier Erni from NeoNeo (Geneva-Carouge, Switzerland), Andrea Gassner from Atelier Andrea Gassner (Feldkirch, Austria), Na Kim (Seoul, South Korea/Berlin, Germany), Franziska Morlok from Rimini Berlin (Berlin, Germany) and Markus Weisbeck from Studio Markus Weisbeck (Frankfurt am Main/Berlin, Germany). The exhibition is accompanied by a yearbook published by Kettler Verlag featuring all the winning posters and designers.
This year, the 100 Best Posters competition is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Since 2002, this annual competition has been highlighting the creative quality of poster design in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A film produced to mark this milestone offers a survey of the designs, participants and presentations of the last 20 years – two decades of dramatic changes in graphic design.
The exhibition can be visited free of charge and without pre-booking a time-slot ticket.
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Plan your visit
Prices / Tickets
Annual Ticket from 25 €
from 25 €