As you may have observed we are big fans of a Warsaw illustrator Marianna Oklejak. During a trip to Warsaw two years ago we found her wonderful illustrated history of the city of Warsaw that we determined to buy but before we got to it (long story, doesn’t matter) it turned out to be sold out. We discovered they were considering a reprint but not really actually doing it. So imagine our delight when looking half-heartedly for a gift for a niece in a small, chain bookstore we found a forgotten copy of the book. Maybe it got overlooked because it was somewhat warped or maybe because the cover doesn’t entirely do justice to the great contents but the more lucky us. We bought it and we can share it with you today.
It’s a large-format, cardboard book and each spread presents a dense illustration of the map of Warsaw in a particular historical moment. Detail-heavy drawings provide a wealth of details that you can look at for quite a long time, admiring subtle sense of humor. We particularly like that some characters, for instance the siren of Warsaw (the symbol of the city) or a pair of bears, resurface in every spread in various roles.
The oldest history of Warsaw, full of pagans and missionaries and wild animals.
The time when quarrelsome nobles ruled the country.
The charming 20s.
Rebuilding of the city after the war (a personal favorite spread).
The gray early 1980s.
Modern Warsaw, full of traffic jams and billboards (but also cultural events).
Crazy deadlines force us to shorten this week’s post to a teaser-like size. We’ll expand with proper photos and the story of the project next week so see you then and have a great week.
Manuals 1, a book by Unit Editions, is one of the crowning jewels of our little collection.
This hefty tome represents some of the best examples from the golden era of logo design. Notable examples include Lufthansa, NASA and New York City Transit Authority, most known for its iconic presentation of station names and NY metro signage. The book includes a foreword by one of its creators, the legendary Massimo Vignelli.
The layout of the book is highly functional, with the manuals photographed in a no-thrills fashion and all the details preserved. And rightly so, as those are some of the examples of graphic design at its best.
Manuals 1 is sold out right now, and there’s little chance it will ever be reprinted. Fortunately, you can preorder Manuals 2, by going to the publisher’s website. Even though the publishers are not paying us for the subtle product placement (and too bad), we wish them all the success.
Guys, we have so many ideas for fun, time-consuming posts and for some of them we even have all the illustrations (sort-of) ready. But today is not the day we will share one of those. Instead here’s a sneak peek of two illustrations from our current project, a very exciting one for us, a book for children about local architecture. It’s keeping us occupied now, together with an extensive house repairs project (ugh, aren’t those the worst?), and so the big posts have to wait a little longer.
Of course, we’ll share more of the book once it’s ready.
A while ago we designed a CD packaging for a CD with five talks by a professor of mathematics from Warsaw. He talks about social and psychological phenomena, presenting them through mathematical formulas. Obviously, this was an instant and thrilling challenge to find motifs which are both mathematical and can illustrate the specific themes of the talks. We finally chose to base the illustrations on vectors (not as in vector graphics but as in mathematical vectors that look like arrows).
The project is called Faces of Science. To See the Invisible and the five talks are titled: 1. Life 2. Man 3. Ambitions 4. Relationships 5. Science. We came up with an icon/illustration including two arrows for each of them. The client also wanted us to draw the portrait of the professor, which we’re always happy to do, and as far as we know the professor enjoyed it. We chose lively, strongly contrasted colors, a circular composition and a dot grid for a scientific yet energetic effect.
The project was created for Podpunkt studio.
While we’re still swamped with a ton of work, we took a (very short) break to share with you one more book we bought after our trip to London and it might be actually our favorite. It is called Walk This World by Lotta Nieminen and it shows a walk through various cities of the world in one day. Each spread is given to one city that the children should guess, using such clues as clothing, bits of language, famous monuments and even colors. Some are harder, some easier but all very pretty.
But that’s not even the best part, cool as it is! The best part is that it has those flaps of paper you can open to peek underneath and see what’s inside the buildings. I’m sure we’re well past the target age but we thoroughly enjoyed opening those windows and doors and chuckled at the humorous illustrations. Combined with nice illustrations, an exquisite sense of color and good production values, this is another book on our long list that we recommend to all you book aficionados out there, whether you have children or not.
The whole journey starts in New York. (Sorry for the gif-y graininess but we wanted to show you the hidden illustrations.)
This is Sydney spread with its lovely color palette and whatever’s hiding in a kangaroo:
Of course we couldn’t overlook Paris, with Mona Lisa hidden in the Louvre:
And here’s Italy and the insides of a volcano:
(Italy actually looks like a mix of several cities, which is a bit surprising at least to our European sensitivities but whatever, it’s still gorgeous.)