Dezeen Magazine

Wolfgang Tillmans designs posters opposing Brexit vote

EU referendum: German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has designed a set of posters to encourage UK residents to vote to stay in the European Union, after branding the official Remain campaign "lame" (+ slideshow).

Tillmans, who was the first photographer and also the first non-English person to be awarded the UK's Turner Prize, designed the set of 25 posters to alert people to the risks of Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

Each poster features a combination of emotive text in bold fonts upon either plain or photographed backgrounds.

The texts include shorter slogans like "What is lost is lost forever" and "Rupert Murdoch can buy the British government. But not a union of 28 countries".

Tillmans released downloadable versions of the posters on his website, along with a letter explaining his motivations and calling on young voters to register before the deadline on 7 June.

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

"The official Remain campaign feels lame and is lacking in passion," he said in the letter. "It also lacks an active drive to get voters registered – and with the deadline already falling two weeks before the referendum, this should be an urgent priority."

Tillmans said that he was following the political drift to the right and anti-EU sentiment in Europe with "horror".

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

"I want to get involved and actively campaign," he said. "In particular, I want to work towards maximising turnout among younger voters."

The British government is holding a referendum on 23 June to decide whether to leave or remain in the European Union. The government is spearheading the official Remain campaign with a controversially expensive leaflet being distributed to homes around the country, as well as online, TV and print media adverts.

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

The opposition is led by political figures like London mayor Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which has come under repeated scrutiny for racist comments by members.

Other designers that have weighed in on the debate include Tom Dixon, who said that the EU was an important market for the UK's architects and designers and a potential Brexit could damage London's status in the design industry.

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

"It might mean that London becomes much more insular and stops being the international platform that it has become, which is really exciting for design," said Dixon of the possible outcome if the UK vote to leave the EU.

Tillmans, who is a London resident, also expressed his concern about the possibility of a 'leave' victory, stating that it would result in "problematic consequences and political fall-out".

Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters

"[The EU is] a flawed and problematic institution, but on the whole it stands for a democratic worldview, human rights and favours cooperation over confrontation," he said.

Read the full letter by Wolfgang Tillmans and see more of the posters below:



Wolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum postersWolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum postersWolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum postersWolfgang Tillmans EU Referendum posters