26 Posters

As part of the 2007 London Design Festival, ’26 Posters’ set a challenge to twenty-six pairs of writers and designers. To create a six-word poster that somehow comments on or reflects its immediate location. That’s it. Simple, but devilishly tricky.

Thanks to a partnership with outdoor advertising specialists JC Decaux, we had access to prime 48-sheet poster sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. As well as over 100 Street Talk sites – those colourful telephone boxes with the ads on them. And we were lucky to have some fabulously talented designers on board – Michael Wolff, Jonathan Barnbrook, Harry Pearce and Andy Bird among them.

Because there was no commercial imperative here, the posters suddenly take on a very different role from usual. Their only purpose is to hold the attention, to amuse, provoke, enlighten, or plant the germ of a thought in the minds of the passing public. The results, as you’d expect, were divertingly diverse. They were in turns funny, quirky, political, controversial, whimsical and polemical. No two were anything alike, in spirit or in style, reflecting the individuality of their locations.

Craig Wills, Head of Open Strategy at JC Decaux, said, “In working with 26 we are eager supporters of the written word in advertising and are keen to ensure that words are a tool selected and used well from the potential armoury of communications weapons.”

The project was co-ordinated by the tireless Margaret Oscar. Thanks to Tequilla for hosting the launch party and Swarowski Crystals for printing a set of postcards.


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Latest 26 images

Image by Tony Linkson
Found on the island of Giglio, Italy by Chris Bird.
26 Screenshot by Lara Muth
I live at number 26, and this is my bin!  Rebecca Thomas
Captured in Venice by Elen Lewis
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Distance markers on a disused railway in East Sussex. The Cuckoo Line.  By Tony Linkson
Spotted by Marin Lee at the Serpentine in Hyde Park
Spotted in Copenhagen by Helen MacKinven.
Spotted on the airfield of Tivat airport in Montenegro by Martin Lee
I took this picture in a fabulous vegan and raw food restaurant in Turin - Ezri Carlebach
Spotted in Capri by Laura Hunter
Woods near Jouqueviel, Midi-Pyrenees, 10 minutes after I had told my walking group about 26. They gave me a funny look. By David Mathews
Image by Ed Pritchard
Image by Lydia Thornley in Krakow
Spotted in Belfast by Jonathan Holt
From Christmas travels in Krakow by Lydia Thornley
Night time lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley
Daytime lamp from Christmas travels in Krakow by  Lydia Thornley
26 Venice Street, Mornington, Australia by Aimee Chalmers
Spotted near Lavigny, Switzerland. Image by Linda Cracknell.