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Aberdeen Poster Collective

June 27, 2009

The Aberdeen Poster Collective is another UK poster group I’ve stumbled across online. This crew is from Aberdeen, Scotland, and appears to have had their heyday in the early 2000s. They have about 50 posters up online which you can download and reproduce. Some of them are quite simple and effective. Check them all out, and their manifesto, on their website.




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One comment on “Aberdeen Poster Collective”

Wow! Your work is awesome, thank you for sharing ours!
The old website is down and lost, but the posters are up on flickr (password/mail also lost, so we can’t log in anymore :/).
Since you mention the manifesto and it’s no longer online, I’ll post it here:
“The aim of the Aberdeen Poster Collective’s campaign is to use public space in a creative way and to inspire other individuals or groups to express themselves in similar ways. Basically the idea is to raise awareness about certain issues among the students and staff of Aberdeen University by putting up posters that address the subject matter in a straightforward manner, using only short slogans and minimalistic imagery that can be understood in just a few seconds. This method was pioneered by the student movement of 1968 and is still used today by a large number of underground artists such as e.g. Eric Drooker and Seth Tobocman.
In the worst case the ABDN posters will pass completely unnoticed. In the best case the initiative of the Aberdeen Poster Collective is going to trigger a wave of posters by other individuals/groups joining in to turn our notice boards, bins, phone boxes etc. into mirrors of the creativity and concerns of many different people, reflecting their personalities, their political attitudes or even just their love for being creative and sharing their ideas with others.
The Aberdeen Poster Collective is not affiliated with any political/religious party or movement in particular and seeks to maintain this independence. The posters are going to address a wide range of very different issues in the future, but there will also occasionally be posters dealing with more personal things (illustrations of poems, songs etc.) as well as posters fulfilling a purely aesthetic purpose.
As individuals we hold on to certain views that are also expressed in our posters, but indoctrination of the masses by simply replacing mainstream media culture with something else is not the point here. Our posters don’t hold the key answers to the issues we are addressing. They are supposed to make a radical, sometimes simplistic statement that is supposed to stimulate people to form their own opinions on certain issues and discuss them with others. We want to create a ‘Streitkultur’, a culture of enlightening debate and interchange, in the everyday lives of our fellow students.
The Aberdeen Poster project is anonymous, only very few people know the origin of the posters. The reasoning behind this is that the posters should be able to speak for themselves; also our members don’t like public attention.
Activists and groups/individuals wishing to use our posters for their own campaigns are welcome to do so provided they do not alter the message of the posters. Our activity is currently limited to the main campus of Aberdeen University in Old Aberdeen, but you are more than welcome to print posters out at home and hang them up in your own neighbourhood.
You will always recognise our posters by the tree printed at the bottom of each poster.
[Aberdeen Poster Collective, 4 March 2004.]
The collective was made up of students and most active in 2004-2006. It’s hard to tell if/what impact our posters made in general, but we got more feedback than we’d expected. Some people emailed or hung up their own posters, and somebody shared a beautiful series of photographs of trees with poems about nature. There was also one poster linking us to Lenin and Stalin, warning against ‘left-wing indoctrination’, and posters from the website of a right-wing US poster group in response to our Iraq/Israel/Palestine posters.

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