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Today it’s E’s birthday, so: Happy Birthday to Her!

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A few months ago we finished a book  for the Malbork Castle Museum.

The Malbork Castle is a world-famous heritage place, a 13th century castle built by the Teutonic Order (Malbork was then called Marienburg if that tells you more). It is a truly impressive historic monument well-worth visiting. The book is a scientific study of life in the castle at the time when the Teutonic Order lived there. It talks not only of politics and economy but also of minutiae of everyday functioning of this huge establishment.

The book’s design had to be sober not to distract from the academic content. Mainly, we had to make the information aesthetic and legible. We chose to use a golden-brown spot color for all the special texts in the book and for archival photographs which are printed in gold and black. The cover contains a golden-brown photo of the castle and the title is hotstamped in silver.

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We will share more photos of the book later but for now they’re not properly edited so check back soon.

On August 15th 1969 Woodstock music festival started. It featured some of the greatest musicians of the era and became a legend of the counterculture of the 1960s. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the festival and we already celebrated it with a poster. But because we like the subject matter so much, we also created a series of small illustrations depicting some of our favorite Woodstock musicians.

Day 1.

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Richie Havens opened the festival and played for almost three hours, waiting for other performers stuck in traffic to arrive. The performance built his career.

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Melanie Safka is known for her energetic, lighthearted music and enthusiasm. Woodstock performance inspired her to write a song “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” because people lit candles during her set.

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Currently famous mostly for her cooperation with Bob Dylan, Baez has been a great folk musician and one of the most significant female voices to appear at Woodstock.

Day 2.

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Not yet well-known, the band Santana with its front man Carlos Santana became huge after their Woodstock performance and went on to be one of the biggest names of the ones that appeared then.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival performed late at night but still managed to energize the crowd with their catchy, powerful music.

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One of the greatest legends of the 60s music, Janis Joplin was a star of the festival. A wonderful performer and an icon of her era, Joplin died tragically a year later.

Day 3.

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A huge band at the time, Jefferson Airplane performed on Sunday morning. The band epitomized the philosophy and lifestyle of a 60s rock’n’roll band.

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Like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix would burn bright but short – he also died a year later. His Woodstock show was the last of the lineup and technically took place on Monday.

Who are your favorite Woodstock musicians?

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50 years ago in Woodstock a legendary music festival took place and some of the most exciting artists of the time performed. We always loved the music of the time and the very myth of Woodstock, with its celebration of love and peace and rock’n’roll, and we’re celebrating the anniversary with a poster.

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Almost exactly 50 years ago, on the 20th of July 1969, man first landed on the Moon. In the heat of the space race president John F. Kennedy declared that Americans would land on the Moon by the end of 1960s, and what do you know, they did*.

A giant rocket Saturn V was constructed, capable of carrying space ship Apollo 11 to the Moon. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this momentous moment with a poster illustrating Saturn V.

The poster is available in our store.

(* Some people might still disagree but we don’t hold with conspiracy theories and are all the happier for it.)

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On Saturday we took a day off and made a family trip to the local zoo in Gdańsk. The weather was just right and we had a great time. In the souvenir stand we found an interesting book that we’re sharing with you today: Planeta zoo (The Zoo Planet), which tells a bit of a history of zoological gardens and introduces various animals from Gdańsk’s zoo. The book tells interesting stories about the animals living in the zoo and will make our next trip so much more informed for our son, who will know the names of some of the animals. It is illustrated by Grażyna Rigall, whose watercolor illustrations have quite a lot of character and include funny little details.

We particularly like the zoo’s effort to publish a customized souvenir, which is thoughtful, informative and well-executed. Too often local tourist attractions don’t use the material they have to self-promote: their own exhibits and buildings. We would expect similar publications in each museum and fun spot. So many creative people could be hired for that and so many lovely objects could be made as a result.

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