The “Tolerance” poster designed by Justus Oehler at Pentagram Berlin has been selected as one of the 100 best posters of 2020 by the Society of Typographic Arts in its annual competition. The design was originally created for the 2019 Emirates International Poster Festival, which featured the theme of “The Year of Tolerance” to coincide with the UAE designation of 2019 as a time to highlight tolerance, openness and coexistence.
To create the poster, Oehler wanted to find a way to express “tolerance” within the word itself. The type has been arranged so the “A” is constantly poking the “O,” visually representing that when one party oversteps their boundary, another party is affected by it and must learn to practice tolerance. Here, the “O” tolerates the “A,” illustrating one of the eternal basics of coexistence and learning to live together.
In another layer of meaning, the letters “A” and “O” are the “A” and “Z” of the Greek alphabet, and in German the phrase “it’s the A and O of…” means “it’s the essence of...”
The typography is set in the custom typeface Oehler originally designed for the Museum Tinguely visual identity, which features a perfectly round “O.”