In the face of crack downs and club fines for fly-posting alongside prohibitively expensive bill board or JC Decaux poster sites, James Lock and Sara Hill from Opus Independents, Mark Hobson from Corporation and product designer Jonny Douglas decided to develop a sustainable, ethical alternative for local independent traders and community groups. A ‘carrot’ to accompany the ‘stick’ of club fines and warnings. In essence, affordable high quality poster space, for rent, in areas of high public footfall.

Sheffield City does not currently offer affordable promotional opportunities to individuals and community groups. This has caused some of those individuals and groups to take matters into their own hands and promote themselves in the only way that is both effective and affordable for them. Namely, they do it themselves, using cheaply printed black and white A3 posters. The majority of posters are blu-tak’d to walls, or occasionally pasted using glue. The consequence of this is that areas of the city prone to high public footfall, are targeted as poster sites, causing both a litter problem as well as a time consuming inconvenience for street cleaning services. This is fly-posting as we currently know it in Sheffield.

Fact Totem is a local not for profit social enterprise, motivated by a desire to provide effective and affordable alternatives to flyposting. We see the building of city wide poster cylinders as an opportunity to provide some of the more unique and independent aspects of Sheffield’s cultural economy with access to wider promotional tools. We recognise the importance of favouring no one group, or type of promotion, for we would not be able to build a sustainable and lasting business if we did, we also recognise the importance of providing young promoters and smaller venues with a cost effective method for promoting their activities to the wider public; thus displacing fly-posting as a necessary promotional tool.

For more information please email: facttotemsheffield@gmail.com


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