There will be a post this week, all about posters, but we have literally just come back from a weekend trip (well, weekend-and-Monday trip) and after five hours of listening to a lady and her troubles with a mother-in-law on a bus we’re opting to take a slow evening (except for all this typing I’m just doing).

re-infobox-02This is a little job we did a while ago for InfoBox, which is an institution of Gdynia set up for the promotion of the city and for chronicling the changes happening (such as investments and urban development). We designed a T-shirt for the opening of InfoBox, illustrating their tagline “The Observatory of Changes.” We wanted the illustration to be simple and playful and to engage the element of the logo (we also designed the logo a longer while ago). The number of colors was limited by the printing technique but that was actually for the best. As Gdynia is located by the sea, seagulls are a common (and sometimes a little scary) sight here. (Seriously, seagulls are creepy.)

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re-strzelecki-05Ugh, late again, but please bear with us, this summer is very busy. Today untypically we wanted to share with you recent work, a poster for a competition organized by the Museum of Emigration in Gdynia that we’re rather happy with. The competition asks participants to, while traveling, find a cool Polish emigrant abroad and take a picture or make a movie about them. The tagline is “Man above Borders” and we decided to focus the illustration on this (and, I guess, on focus).

We were pleased to have a chance to do something out of paper and spent a good part of a Saturday cutting out the world and people popping out of it. And then we also spend a Tuesday on doing it all over again when the idea changed some. That’s fine, though, we’re easily amused, as I tend to repeat.

Orange is a brand color for the Museum, which allowed for the unusual color scheme (we tried blue, but orange won). We focused (there, I did it again) on details, too, like placing the Museum logo so that it’s exactly below the focus frame. And we even managed to add small illustrations. It’s always a lot of fun when a project leaves us enough freedom to  try out more unusual solutions.

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Not exactly the making of, but bits and pieces of the poster:

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And the whole poster:

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We spent a half of this weekend photographing ash and a half – uncharacteristically – socializing so that didn’t leave a lot of time for the post. But we can actually show you something related: an image from the cover of the card we made for our friends M and O, who celebrated their marriage on Saturday.

It plays on a monogram we designed for their wedding invitation (to be shown some time in the future). We constructed the monogram out of two kinds of paper, giving it a more three-dimensional look. It’s got a bit of a DIY quality but we actually liked that because the invitation is very different in that respect.

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As we keep working on our not-yet-to-be-shown projects, we use the opportunity to continue with the awesome books we have recently bought. We could be doing it for a year and more but we’re planning to actually return to showing our creative efforts soon. However, for today enjoy these.

In one of the previous book-related posts we showed you a catalog for Gierymski’s exhibition in Warsaw but that wasn’t all we brought from that show. The museum also published quite a charming companion publication for children. Now, we’re great fans of this kind of part-educational, part-entertaining materials accompanying exhibitions (hint, hint, we’d love to make some) and are often a little disappointed by their quality and lack of original ideas. But this one is actually what we might expect, with nice design and illustrations, tasks that make sense and even a pleasant kind of paper.

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Alice in Wonderland and the Moomin series are some of these books that you don’t even have to come across in early childhood and you will still enjoy them and then the magic just stays with you forever. They are even not so much about storylines – though we love those too – as about the atmosphere. So finding a combination of both in Tate’s bookstore in the form of Alice illustrated by Tove Jansson left us dumbfounded with delight. Apparently this was originally a Swedish edition then published by Tate in English and Jansson’s illustrating style matches wonderfully the dreamy nature of Carroll’s story. We’ve seen many versions of Alice‘s illustrations and normally we will always pick the classic version by John Tenniel, but this one is definitely worth having. Maybe because it has this nostalgic quality that books from childhood will have for adults.

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And the last book is perhaps the most stunning of all. The High Street by Alice Melvin apparently won some sort of award for best new illustrator and no wonder at all. We also found it in Tate and fell in love with it but when we read it our fascination increased even. It tells a story of a girl gone shopping through an array of old-fashioned little shops, each selling one type of products rather than everything, mall-style. In this it basks in the passing (or maybe returning? that would be awesome) glory of small shops. The illustrating style is lovely in that it combines a bit of theme-becoming old-fashioned-ness with modern clarity. This is exactly what we love, especially seeing as each illustration has a lot of details and you can look at it over and over. But the best part is that the illustrations showing shops can be folded out to reveal the inside of the shop! Now, I’m quite secure in saying that many of you must share our fascination with the inside of buildings that you only see from the outside. As children we loved this kind of drawings and we still do. So, this is a perfect little book, both in idea and execution (it even has a plot twist!), and we encourage you to buy it, should you have a chance (no, no one is paying us for all these recommendations though they may, if they want to).

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We didn’t see as much of London as we had planned but we did visit a whole lot of museum gift stores and today we’ll show you how our collections of pocket pop-up books is growing. We bought the first ones in Paris but Britain has more of them: we found five (to Paris’ three). However, sorry but the French name Petit pop-up panoramique wins with English A Three-Dimensional Expanding Guide. No challenge there.

Still, the illustrations are just as charming (by the same illustrators, mostly) and we were thrilled each time we found a new one in a bookstore. We’re easily amused people.

re-popup-02 We didn’t see a whole lot of royal palaces but we liked the book.

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We did manage to visit Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey (the square quite a few times because we went to the National Gallery twice and also you always seem to end up there when you start doing touristy things).

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And of course we’ve already told you about Tate Modern a few times. We enjoyed the bookstore there too.

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We didn’t hope for much from the Tower of London but we were pleasantly surprised: what an entertaining place it actually is. And the ravens were awesome.

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But our favorite was the last find, Shakespeare, which we only discovered at the Globe, where we just dropped in for a few minutes on our last day. One side shows places connected with Shakespeare’s biography but the other one shows scenes from various plays, which is very refreshing after all the architecture of the other volumes. It helps that we’re currently re-reading all of Shakespeare, probably.

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Things are so hectic here these days (or, you know, just exhaustingly, monotonously filled with work, which is not the same as hectic, I guess) that we didn’t even get to show you the books we bought during our recent trips. We bought a lot, especially in London, but for today we only shot catalogs for two amazing exhibitions we saw.

Matisse’s cut-outs in Tate Modern (more info here) is possibly the best exhibition we’ve ever seen or definitely up there with the best. It’s still on till September so if you can make it to London by then, you won’t regret it. It’s emotional, exciting and just freaking great. There is also a huge catalog published for the occasion, which tells you a lot about Matisse’s late years and the process of the cut-outs (we’re assuming; it’s not like we have time for reading or anything) and it has plenty of pictures: everything you see on the exhibition and some more.

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In Warsaw, on the other hand, we saw a more locally known painter, but one of Poland’s best, Aleksander Gierymski, whose impressively comprehensive collection is on show in the National Museum. This exhibition is also accompanied by a large catalog, very professionally assembled, presenting a large collection of his works with such interesting details as the paintings’ background  (and such uninteresting ones as the history of all exhibitions where they were shown; TMI for us but I’m sure it’s useful for someone). We also like the layout of the catalog – it might be a bit too modern for the subject matter, from a puristic point of view, but it’s refreshing and makes the catalog a pretty object to look at.

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