11 August 2011

[design] "Was Dein T-Shirt Kann, Kannst Du Auch" - Design Activism Via Trojan T-Shirts

2646.Hardcore Rebellen - National und Frei ("Hardcore Rebels - Naitonal and Free") said the legend, within an energetic skull-crossbones-and-ink splattered design on T-shirts distributed at a recent rock festival organized by Germany's National Democratic Party which, despite its name, has more to do with anything Nazi than anything this blog would consider actually democratic.

The T-Shirts, enthusiastically snapped up by the attendees, carried a payload, however … after washing, the muscular right-wing extremist message was replaced by Was dein T-shirt kann, kannst du auch ("What your T-shirt did, you can also"), followed by the appeal Wir helfen dir, dich vom Rechtextremismus zu lösen ("We can help you escape from right-wing extremism") from an organization called Exit Detuschland, whose mission is to offer such an escape route.

The campaign, while clever, is backed by realistic expectations: they don't expect this to change any minds so much as they hope to plant a seed.

Design is great at selling things, from the tangible and commercial to this - and can have great power to spread good.

The whole story at Der Spiegel International.

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