Europe-wide mural for Lufthansa

How five illustrators worked with a German agency to create a street art extravaganza in the centre of Berlin

The German airline Lufthansa's latest campaign has employed the talents of five top illustrators - all working in their own street-inspired style. The agency Wunderman divided up briefs based on different Lufthansa destinations across Europe, and sent them to artists Ben Talon, Miss Led, Chris Ede, Mart Klein and Patrick Rosche. Each was commissioned via Die Illustratoren and asked to come up with their own take on the cities they were given.

"Provided it had an urban edge and a few key recognizable elements the brief was pleasantly open," explains Ben Tallon, though he felt the heat of a quick turnaround. "Doing 15 A2 illustrations in five days meant that I had to respond to everything around me and invoke a less is more approach. One illustrator pointed out to me that if I didn't sleep, I had eight hours per illustration but I personally benefit from not being allowed to overkill my work so I was delighted with the results."

Two of Ben Tallon's illustrations for Lufthansa

Chris Ede went in depth on four cities, and had a lot of fun with Bucharest and Rome and even managed to get ever-popular vampires into his work. "For Bucharest I mixed up two main themes of tourism in the region. The first was the Dracula myth and the second the night life and drinking holes around the city. The result was a pair of Dracula dentures in a alcoholic glass," he says. "In Rome pasta is eaten almost religiously with every meal, so I combined those two themes to come up with a Vatican fork and spaghetti Roman colosseum.

Rome's all about religion and spaghetti with Chris Ede

Joanna Henly - AKA Miss Led - decided to try and bring out the experience of visiting each city rather than being drawn in by the architecture. "I was given 11 in total, and looked at elements from a street level, which was more sensory, including music, food, ambience as opposed to obvious landmarks and memorials," she says. "I started with pencil drawings on paper which were then scanned into Photoshop. Using halftones, gradients and inverting linework I tried to manipulate the art as much as possible. Textures and brushes incorporated worked to rough up the work to make them look painted or pasted onto the wall where they'd appear."

Miss Led emphasised street art with flavour

The artwork is being combined together into a street-style mural for use in Lufthansa's online and print marketing by designers at Wunderman. It's already appearing on the airline's website, and in email promotions with eBookers. However the images will also make a gala appearance across Germany's biggest advertising space, Bikini-Berlin. It will cover hundreds of square metres of wall space near Hardenbergplatz station, as though it were a European street art exhibition.

A mural composed of work by all five artists