Posters advertising Oktoberfest – design icons of their times

Since 1952, the motif used on posters advertising Oktoberfest has changed every year. For the past 15 years, select graphic designers chose each year’s winner at a special competition. From now on, however, anyone who feels so inclined will be allowed to enter the contest.

Each year, the motifs of Oktoberfest divide public opinion as not everyone loves the often tame Bavarian themes of pretzels, beer mugs and pretty girls. After all, these small “artworks” do not only adorn beer mugs or posters, they can be found on everyday objects such as brochures, T-shirts and cups all over Munich.



Which is why it is worth having another look at previous years as every decade has its very own, distinctive design. While the motifs of the early 1960s still displayed classic, amusing colourful themes, the 1970s were a time of experiments as witnessed by the posters of the time. Some of which at first sight do not reveal themselves to be ads for the biggest funfair of the world, were it not for the headline reading “Oktoberfest” placed boldly across their stylish elements – not a single dirndl, beer mug or balloon in sight.




However, the experimental phase soon passed and the usual suspects such as ferris wheels, pretzels and gingerbread hearts once again took over the space to be designed.



Which is too bad, really. For 2017, we wish to see more design and a little less commercialisation and we hope for an exciting, open competition.





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