Thjnk: Ursula Karven and Frauen 100’s Fight Sexism with Sexism

People walking past a digital billboard in a bright mall

Thjnk: Ursula Karven and Frauen 100’s Fight Sexism with Sexism

Using typography to fight for equality

Petition C190, initiated by German actress and activist Ursula Karven, aims to enforce a law to protect people from sexism in the workplace.

To encourage Germans to sign the petition that would bring the country one step closer to eliminating sexism in the workplace, Thjnk worked with Ursula Karven and Frauen 100 to drum up signatures and support for the petition – as well as highlight the fact that workplace sexism is a collective problem that requires a collective solution.

The campaign was primarily executed through digital signage, with billboards around the country displaying a typical sexist comment that could be heard in the workplace. The comment was presented boldly, in black and white with nothing to distract from the significance of the single sentence.

However, with every additional signature to the petition, the statement was clouded with people’s handwriting, using the signatures as dynamic design elements with a purpose. It sent the message that while a single signature doesn't hinder the readability of the comment, the mass of signatures makes the statement unreadable by the end. The digital billboards illustrated the collective power a community holds with its use of typography.

As well as being an impactful visual, the billboards provided easy access points for people to join the movement. Via a QR code, people could instantly sign the petition online, adding their signature to the billboard.

The campaign generated a total of 91.6 million media impressions and collected over 100,000 signatures. Most importantly, the new German government included the issue in its coalition agreement. Outside of the political arena, the campaign was awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival in 2022 and was recognised with a Bronze Pencil for Design by the One Show in 2022.