Greetings from Bucharest Tim Hippmann! Such a pleasure talking with you!
Hi to Bucharest and compliments to your Project A4Activism!
First of all, we love your projects. They are truly fresh and creative. We are really curious to know where do you take your inspiration from? What made you create your books?
I’ve been working 25 years in Advertising, but also made a lot of events and Art projects. I think it’s a combination of all the disciplines I’m interested in: Film, Music, Photography and also Painting and Illustration. After high school, it was always difficult for me to decide in which direction I should go…and there were no computers, no mobile phones etc. I had the chance to learn Advertising in a big Agency. My job was to produce Image Slide shows for big companies, as well as organizing and directing photographers, off-speakers and music studios. It was like producing an Image-film today. I learned all those components like creative direction, text, and illustrated all the scripts myself. This was great and I made my way through a lot of agencies, film and events productions and TV stations.
How did the 1918 project start?
I have been working as Freelancer for 20 years now. The last 5 years I’ve been working together with my partner Anne. We created the small studio DAC DESIGN. We are well known in Germany for our Vintage Packaging Designs, like Dactari. This was the initial start for our books, because we did research and bought a lot of Vintage Books and old Wood letters, to print things ourselves.
While researching vintage Posters and books, we discovered a lot of stuff on different Public Domain Servers and platforms and decided to make some projects on Kickstarter. We did not know if this would work, but we were overwhelmed about the positive feedback we got. It’s now the 4th book we produced and we have another 3 ones in planning and conception.
What can you tell us about the making-off? How did you choose which posters will appear in your book?
The process is quite easy. I have done research over months on different platforms to be sure that the images are public domain so I can use them for our commercial projects. I needed a very high resolution for restoring and retouching. A lot of posters have massive damages.
Which were the main challenges of this project?
I think the retouching and restoring part is very demanding. But arranging the motifs is very difficult too. I collected about 500 different motifs, but a lot are too savage and did not fit the spirit of the book. I wanted to show Art works such as Illustrations and also Typography. I tried to show the different styles of all these artworks.
Who is your favourite visual artist? Which work of him/her influenced the most your career?
I think is Andy Warhol. He was involved in a lot of different art domains like film, painting, Music (Velvet Underground), various printing methods. He was always experimenting. But also artists like Jean Giraud (Comic Artist, involved in the film „The 5th element”) created really fascinating artworks and stories. But there are so many artists who influenced my creativity, such as Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Brian Eno and many others who worked in different audio-visual contexts that are really interesting to see and hear.
We have our own project, called “A4Activism”, through which we want to build a community where artists and NGO people work together for social and environmental change for the better. Is this kind of collaboration more important today than it was 100 years ago?
I worked some years ago with “The Club of Budapest” and also had contact with some people of “The Club of Rome”. I think the NGOs involved in political and social themes, which think and act different than the mass of people, are more important than ever.
The problem is often the “communication to the world”. “Yes we can” are big words, but political governments are the only ones who reach the mass. But in most countries all over the world we have the wrong leaders. Changes can be made only if people are mostly equal, socially speaking. BUT if you see rich people and poor people in comparison, what can a government tell these groups? We want to change? Why should rich people want to make a change? We need more NGOs who tell all these groups how they can make changes together… but this is a very big theme and a big challenge…too much for a short interview.
Should creative people be involved in social movements?
Yes, it’s very important! But it’s not the artists’ job to be political. You can have a political opinion, bur your art should be free of it. Art is always free and has to show new perspectives in our lives…and bring people to socialize, not to get more politically.
Do you think non-governmental organizations pay enough attention to visual communication?
Hmm… I really do not know. Some do, some do not. But in general, I miss quality communication and creative ideas in social and political design. I miss good text ideas. Most of the political parties use banal slogans to reach the masses. That’s the mirror of this world nowadays…banal and for the masses. It reminds me of „Panem et Circensis”, in times, when the roman emperors influenced people with those bloody moods in the arenas.
In your opinion, how does a well-done activist poster look?
Simple and colourful. I have always liked the style of the early Russian Propaganda Posters.
What other projects are you working on?
My Book „In this decade-Mission to the moon” will also be published in October. It comprises the 50 years of moon landing…
“EARTH” is a book with fascinating earth photos taken by the ISS Astronauts, and different Orbiters flying around for years. It’s also a fascinating view of how manhood modified the EARTH’s surface. I will publish this on Kickstarter in mid-September.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Yes, a lot of people asked about a book with Propaganda Posters of the WW2. I’m researching a lot of stuff… But it’s more difficult to find.
Another Book we are planning is about the scientist E. Haeckel. He researched the Microorganism and made some fantastic and amazing drawings of his own, an unknown world.