The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Berlin debates the changing face of hype in the digital age

Berlin's Pop-Kultur festival will host a Peeled Off, Overseen And Thrown Away talk to accompany an exhibition about the importance and possible demise of hype stickers

This week, Berlin's Pop-Kultur festival stages an exhibition and accompanying panel discussion about the promo stickers plastered on records and CDs. Though they've become less visible in the digital consumer era, they’re arguably on a comeback given the vinyl renaissance. The exhibition and panel will focus on the importance of the sticker as a sometimes essential element of the design of the finished product.

Curated by Tim Tetzner, the Sticker Removals: The Visual Anthropology Of The Hype Sticker exhibition will look at the design work of Ata Macias, Ektro Records, Lo Recordings, Non-Format, Rune Grammofon, Tom Backström, Warp Records and other imprints. And Tetzner is also the moderator of the panel, called Peeled Off, Overseen And Thrown Away – The Hype Sticker’s Changing Relevance In The Light Of Digitisation, which will discuss the importance of these tiny, sticky marketing tools. Also on the panel is Toby Cornish from the Berlin design agency Jutojo and Backström, a graphic designer, illustrator and founder of the Helsinki's Erikoisdance label.

“The hype sticker… wasn’t that the annoying little thing on the outside wrapping of records or CDs?” asks Pop-Kultur. “The hype sticker always led a marginal existence – and then all but completely disappeared with music’s digitisation. But in the course of the current vinyl revival, it has made a comeback and now looks better than ever.”

The exhibition will run from 24–26 August, with the panel debate taking place on 24 August at 8pm.