The graphic design scene in Germany, Austria and Switzerland participated enthusiastically in the 100 Best Posters competition in 2021, with 540 contributors submitting some 2000 posters to the jury for consideration. The 100 outstanding entries selected as winners will be shown at the Kulturforum in Berlin at the end of June. The exhibition, organised by the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in cooperation with the Verein 100 beste Plakate e. V., is a prelude to the 2022 tour of the posters.
Although cultural life continued to suffer from the pandemic in 2021, museums and theatres were open most of the time to enrich everyday life with exhibitions and performances. The accompanying advertising posters constitute the majority of the submissions to the 100 Best Posters competition and offer a hot-off-the-presses cross-section of the best poster work in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Cultural posters offered an opportunity to explore the scope for creative image-making in exciting and fresh approaches to graphic, typographical and photographic design.
In addition to the creative aspects, the winning posters also provide insight into historical and contemporary topics that animated the cultural world in 2021. The groundbreaking silent films, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu celebrated their 100th anniversary, while 50 years of woman’s suffrage provided inspiration to visualise issues about the current state of equality. Another very topical poster series is the graphical analysis of the cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH and DOT in response to the new hype surrounding art in the digital realm.
The 100 Best Posters from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, held in its current format for 20 years, is evaluated by a jury that changes for each competition. In 2021 the 100 selected designs were chosen from a total of 2,008 submissions, of which 888 were individual posters and 325 were series. Christian Hoffelner (Vienna, Austria), Radovan Jenko (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Larissa Kasper (Kasper-Florio, St. Gallen, Switzerland), Denis Olgac (Sucuk und Bratwurst, Berlin, Germany) and Susanne Stahl (Stahl R, Berlin, Germany) made up the jury. The exhibition at the Kulturforum in Berlin is accompanied by a yearbook, 100 beste Plakate 21, presenting the featured images and published in cooperation with Kettler Verlag.
Since 2002, the annual competition 100 Best Posters has been showcasing the multifaceted quality of poster design in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A documentary film produced on the occasion of its 20th anniversary highlights designs, contributors and presentations of the last twenty years – two decades in which a lot has happened in graphic design.
The documentary film by Rianne Wieman and Johanna Ellerhold presents numerous views of past exhibitions, winning posters from across the years, plus statements by Niklaus Troxler (founding president 2001 to 2007) and Fons Hickmann (president since 2018), as well as Markus Weisbeck, Na Kim, Stefan Guzy, Johanna Siebein, Jianping He, Franziska Morlok, Hermann Büchner, Henning Wagenbreth, Andrea Gassner, Christina Thomson, René Grohnert, Sven Lindhorst-Emme and Niklas Apfel.
Free admission to the exhibition; no advance registration currently required.
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