Götz Gramlich

Our new Master is a typographic genius who has been taking the poster culture forward for more than 10 years. We are talking about the extraordinary German designer Götz Gramlich. Götz was born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied communication design in Darmstadt and worked at the Nicklaus Troxler in Willisau, Switzerland. In 2005 he opened his own studio gggrafik design. Götz has won many international competitions around the world, including the Graphis gold and platinum awards, the jury prize china poster biennale 2012, the red dot design award, and several 100best posters’ awards in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. His work has been exhibited all over the world in collective and solo exhibition and has published in the TDC Tokyo and NY Annuals. He has taught workshops in China, Zimbawe, Germany, and France among others. Besides designing posters he is also actively involved in organizing and promoting competitions and exhibitions such as Mut Zur Wutland, Phew and 30 assaults.

Gramlich’s Answers

We asked Götz our “Poster Poster Questions” and this is what he had to say:

1. What does the poster mean to you and why do you design posters?
Well I really love working on posters, it is some kind of closure design. You have one big page to communicate your idea and you can use everything in the design field like photography, typography, illustration, whatever.

2. What would you say makes a good poster?
A good poster makes you curious. A good poster is built up on a good idea. And if you see a good poster you will not forget it and your eyes will search for it. This is the strength of a good poster, it just makes you curious.

3. What do you think is the role of the poster on the world today?
I think poster design is kind of a design state of mind. Finding the perfect picture for something you want to communicate while fitting in the format. Poster design is always about compressing complex issues to one simple picture. If you are good at doing posters then you are a good designers in general. I think posters could evolve also, I think it is time to about for example the animated poster. You know we have more and more screens on everything and I have not seen good, intelligent executed visuals. I think if animation is used wisely it could be another layer that underlines the strong idea behind the poster.

4. What is your typical design process for making a poster?
Well my typical design process is research, research, thinking and thinking again, doing scribbles, doing layouts. Often when I am not satisfied with a result I start over again until it fits to my personal visual aim. It is often like I am bearing ideas for a poster or a theme, topic, event and in my brain it is like being pregnant and I think about it all the time. Sometimes or often I have the strongest idea when I am not in front of the computer and I am out with my dog or walking in the forest or even when I am on the toilet.

5. If you could chose a poster in history as your favourite, which one would it be and why?
Difficult question. There are just too many good posters in the world. I think a good poster as I have said before is about a strong idea in a unique graphical approach. There are too many like Swiss posters are fantastic for example Niklaus Troxler’s work I really admire. Dutch posters are experts mentally and to the point and very top of the time. Asian posters. Japanese posters. Social posters like the illustrated posters from Poland or the constructive poster from Russia. Too many sorry I cannot answer your question.

6. What advice would you give to new designers who might want to become poster designers?
Simple question. Simple answer. It is like in every other job you have to work hard.