Every year, the city of Zurich organizes a group exhibition of 40 artists who live in the city (Kunststipendien der Stadt Zürich 2019), with the aim of honoring some of them with a grant. Each year new graphic designers are selected to do the identity for this exhibition.
In 2019 we were invited as designers — a request that we were very excited about, because the exhibition takes place in the Helmhaus Zürich, and we were always keen on designing the banners hanging on this building.
The artists in the show are chosen by a jury and are exhibiting at the same time and place while competing against each other. Therefore it’s not a curated exhibition in the true sense, but 40 single-exhibitions within one. This makes it an interesting mix of two formats for one show.
For the design we experimented on how to structure 40 names on a poster. It resulted in the use of the word “und” (“and”) which both separated and brought together each name in what was ultimately one single sentence. The names are structured alphabetically by the artist’s first names.
While the poster was designed rather quickly, the production at the screen printing company Hagmann in Winterthur was more time consuming: all the names were covered on the screen, only one name was printed on the poster. In this way, an individual poster was created for each of the 40 artists within the set construction.
During the exhibition period, 40 posters were spread out randomly throughout the city, reflecting the exhibition at the Helmhaus.
The approach of cutting up text was also used for our beloved banners on the building.