designers saturday
lead balloons
stuttgart 2002

how can you best present yourself as a specialist for “script in space” at designers’ saturday in stuttgart, germany? no problem: stage your own “script in space” event on the main schlossplatz square. better still, hand out helium balloons to passers-by who then promenade your message around downtown stuttgart and ultimately carry it to all corners of the city. what's the message? it’s all about widows and orphans, wrong fonts and broken type – words from the vocabulary of typesetters and printers, originating in a bygone age. each balloon bears one enigmatic word – a german word far more plastic than its english equivalent. literally translated from german, “widows and orphans” for example are called “whores’ children and cobblers’ boys”. to explain the meaning of the words, small cards with witty texts are tied to the balloon strings. instead of simply defining the terms from the printer’s “black art” they interpret them. the type illustrates what the headline says and the copy describes. for a day, typeface shapes the face of the city. what better service can you render to stuttgart on a saturday? or, come to that, to design? 


project team:  

alexandra busse 

frank geiger  

(project manager) 

kristina reuter 

andreas uebele 


in collaboration with:  

büro für gestaltung  

diane ziegler 



wilfried korfmacher  



andreas körner