redesign-neighbor_catalog-01

A while ago we designed identity for an exhibition When Is a Neighbor a Stranger? in the Center of Modern Art Łaźnia, which was a great fun. The fun was even greater when later on we were asked to design a catalog for the exhibition because catalogs are definitely one of our favorite jobs.

The identity was already established so we used the same colors, typography and the symbol of frame but, of course, designing a catalog required many more decisions and allowed us to play more with specifically print-related options. The aqua-green color of the cover is Pantone spot color, which makes it very even. We decided to use an extra neon color both for the cover and the interior. We also used a die-cut on the cover to make the window/picture frame more tangible.

The holes in the cover, when the book is open. The holes have different dimensions, which makes for a nicely layered effect.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-02

The fully opened cover contains a list of all involved artists. The cover inside printed in neon Pantone color.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-03

The text inside is in two languages, Polish and English. Throughout the publication we used the neon color for the English version of the text. We used a flexible grid for the contents and so each page needed individual attention and design. It made for much slower typesetting but was more satisfactory than a more typical page layout which remains the same for the whole book.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-04

redesign-neighbor_catalog-05

Beginnings of essays and an example of flexible layout.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-06

redesign-neighbor_catalog-12

Because of the conceptual character of the exhibition the catalog contains a lot of text so we needed to accommodate that.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-10

List of contents close-up.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-09

Cover close-ups.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-07redesign-neighbor_catalog-08

Back cover fully-open, with a neon-colored photo.

redesign-neighbor_catalog-13

We are very satisfied with the result of the project: it was great to play with unusual, vivid colors and arranging interesting contents, and the book is quite a pleasure to hold in one’s hand.

re-william-shakespeare-400-01

Today we celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. For this momentous occasion we used some of the icons from our Shakespeare Project – our actual, huge celebratory work – as a guessing game. Do you know which play each icon stands for? If not, you may find the answers in last week‘s post. Or you may read the plays again, of course, which is probably the most appropriate kind of celebration.

redesign-shakespeare_project-01

23rd April marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Two years ago, for the 450th anniversary of his baptism, we have started what has become our Shakespeare Project, whose results we are sharing with you today.

The logo of the project with symbols for genres of Shakespeare’s work

redesign-shakespeare_project-02

We were looking into published series of Shakespeare’s plays and how they were designed because we were wondering about buying a nice collection for our library but we didn’t find anything we’d particularly covet. There are a few collections but not exactly what we had in mind. So instead we decided to design a series ourselves.

At first, however, we (re)read all the plays (and sonnets), looking for symbols or motifs that could stand for the entire play. With some of them it was very simple: it’s quite easy to match a skull to Hamlet or a donkey’s head to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With others, though, we had to dig deeper and rely on less obvious associations. In the end we compiled a list of possible symbols for each play (many for some, fewer for others).

A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse! and some other symbols used on the covers

redesign-shakespeare_project-03

redesign-shakespeare_project-04The idea was to pick one symbol for each play and use it in a sort of ornament but when we started working, we realized that we wanted to broaden this concept a little: not only did we add additional, smaller icons which are also inspired by the stories, but also for each cover one big icon is changed, illustrating in an almost gif-animation-like style the plot of the play. For instance, the ship on Pericles sinks and the crown of weeds on King Lear falls apart.

redesign-shakespeare_project-16

We kept the covers fairly simple and used bright, pure colors to make them more striking – a different combination of three colors for each cover.

We also designed the interior of the books, using one special color in addition to black to mark characters, footnotes and such.

Cover and interior for The Merchant of Venice
Othello: interior and a fragment of cover
The beginning of Two Gentlemen of Verona

redesign-shakespeare_project-08

redesign-shakespeare_project-06

Comedies

redesign-shakespeare_project-05

Tragedies and poetry

redesign-shakespeare_project-15

Tetralogies of history dramas

redesign-shakespeare_project-20redesign-shakespeare_project-21

In addition to 38 books we also used the icon designs in a poster which summarizes the project. It presents all the plays divided into genres, together with their dates of composition (after Encyclopaedia Britannica). There are two color versions of the poster, light and dark, depending on how you imagine your Shakespeare because we liked both versions and didn’t want to choose.

redesign-shakespeare_project-17

If you are a huge Shakespeare fan or would just like to remember what plays he wrote, you might buy the poster on bza (light/dark) or society6 (light/dark). Additionally, this time we are also selling wall tapestries and throw blankets with this design because it’s just such a cool option.

redesign-shakespeare_project-46

This was a challenging but satisfying project. Not only did we refresh (and complete) our knowledge of Shakespeare’s work (and it’s always great when you learn something while working) but also we had to work with a deadline and we managed and so can celebrate the Shakespeare holiday. And obviously, it’s always fun to complete a large project on something you like.

16-04-11-redesign-bears

We are working on a huge project that we will share next week – and I’d like to say we’re finishing it but no, it’s just “working” for now – so in the meantime please enjoy this random illustration of bears from our archive. Because bears. And cuddling.

20160404_0002

Yesterday we went to Ikea to search for some unexciting stuff for our bathroom and it took us so long that we didn’t have time to go to the cafeteria. But we were hungry so we dropped by the food store to buy cookies. And boy, was it a great decision.

A few years ago we found online a gorgeous cooking book Ikea published as promo material with cookie recipes and the most beautiful minimalistic photos of food we’d ever seen. You might have seen this one: with all the ingredients arranged in geometric patterns. We ogled the photos and admired the idea but were sure the book was not available as such outside of Sweden. Well, as you have sure figured out by now, this is exactly the book we spotted among Swedish jams and cookies, and quite cheap at that. We pretty much squealed with delight (and I clearly saw two guys looking at us like “ew, crazy people”). Even though we didn’t exactly buy what we’d gone for, the trip was an unquestionable success.

20160404_0003

20160404_0004

The book has thirty recipes, each illustrated with the spread with ingredients and one with the finished product. All photos are great but the ones with ingredients are particularly memorable. It had virtually zero impact on our decision to buy the book but the recipes actually look quite inviting too.

20160404_000620160404_000720160404_000820160404_000920160404_001020160404_001120160404_001220160404_001320160404_001420160404_001520160404_0016

(And yes, we bought the mice starring in the photos for our baby, who’s not big enough for cake or cookies yet.)

epw-redesign-01

European Poet of Freedom is a poetry festival that takes place every two years in Gdańsk. It celebrates, as you might figure, European poets whose work focuses on, well, freedom and social concerns. We had the pleasure of designing the identity for this year’s event and various promo materials.

The festival has been using a rather nice logo, a black and yellow illustration of a broody poet looking at birds. Because it has become quite recognizable and because it offers fun elements to play with we opted to base the identity around the logo but to give its elements more life and dimension by using them as fragments of a paper composition.

ewp-cutingpaper

We inserted the poet and the birds into a cityscape suggestive of European cities, particularly Gdańsk with its characteristic tenant houses in the old town.

epw-poster-1

The main image that we then adapted for various materials looked like in the poster above. We made the illustration more abstract and theatrical by adding threads for the birds and a frame that turns the whole scene into a picture. We wanted to create tension between symbols for freedom and for limitation. Initially we designed everything in black, yellow and white but added extra colors for the main promo materials, like the poster. We did keep the original color scheme for those materials that had a limited number of colors because of budget or production limitations, as in case of tote bags.

epw-tote

The most complicated element of the identity is a brochure with the program of the festival. The interior had to be black and white so we didn’t use photos of paper compositions. Instead we only suggested them with similar shapes and typographic solutions.

epw-redesign-02

epw-redesign-03

epw-redesign-04

epw-redesign-06

By the way, the festival took place this weekend and this year’s winner is Ana Blandiana from Romania so our congratulations to her.

epw-redesign-05

epw-poster-3

epw-poster-2

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,665 other followers