The poster seems ubiquitous in Lucerne. In the small tourist town at the foot of the Alps in central Switzerland you can see them on poster boards and advertising columns [Litfasssäule], but also on the sandwich boards of street philosophers or on comedy stages. It is thus not surprising that Lucerne has recently achieved international renown as the “poster town” — just think of the exhibitions that have featured posters from Lucerne in Berlin, Chaumont, Beijing and Cairo, or the touring exhibition in Russia.
These exhibitions managed to temporarily counter the transient nature that is the fate of the poster as a medium. But exhibitions are also ephemeral, and soon there was the question of a form of documentation that would outlast all of this. This is how Poster Town came about, a project that was initiated by eight poster designers and came to be a book, website, and touring exhibition at the same time, exploring the Lucerne poster scene between the years of 2007 and 2017.
This website archives and reflects the contents of the book: On one hand the website opens access to the collection on different levels, and then on the other hand, the collection of posters that are published in the book will be constantly extended with new posters. Starting with almost 800 posters by 160 designers with a close connection to Lucerne, the collection is ment to be growing over time. It is not a ‘best of’ parade or a ‘hall of fame’ of the Lucerne poster but rather an undogmatic compilation that documents the wide spectrum of the local scene. That is why the posters can be ordered according to formal criteria to enable comparisons, cross-referencing or juxtapositions.
Furthermore Poster Town will travel the world as a touring exhibition. Following the kick-off in September 2017 at the poster festival Weltformat in Lucerne, the exhibition will go on show on different continents.
Poster Town is not the end of an era but rather an assessment of a scene that illustrates how a sleepy tourist town can be just enough to attract attention in the world of poster design.