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Yesterday we visited our local design festival, Gdynia Design Days, on our way home, and we saw a couple of small exhibitions. We felt it lacked something as engaging for us personally as last year’s exhibitions of illustration for children (here) but several things drew our attention.

This year’s identity of the festival is again by Patryk Hardziej. Here are a few elements of the signage.

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This student diploma project by Paulina Kozicka attracted our attention because, first of all, illustrated animals, but also it looks like an interesting educational tool. It’s meant to teach children to read and while we didn’t exactly understand how (we wish there were some instructions exhibited), our son, who loves letters, got immediately drawn to playing with the elements. Also, bonus points for the lion’s mouth as one of the game spaces.

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The elements of the game are made of wood, increasing the tactile value of the diploma.

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This is a small exhibition which we found the most interesting, eco-freaks that we are. It shows various ways in which trash can be recycled into everyday products. Some of them we found decidedly not aesthetically pleasing (but an interesting trend nonetheless) but others seemed very promising. Paradoxically the best part was the obvious one, showing results of the well-known recycling of glass and paper (below glass made from glass, which is nothing strange but still right).

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And this exhibition focused on climate changes and products you can buy that are a bit more eco-friendly. We liked that the products were buyable on the market but if an exhibition wants to talk about countering climate change maybe it should show more ways to act than just buying stuff. Like composting, composting is awesome.

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An exhibition about cross-over between space exploration and design. It felt almost mystical (also because we weren’t sure what some of the presented things did).

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As we let you know last time, our latest thing is identifying local plants. Let us share some of the results we came up with so far. (And if you think this is an extremely lame way of spending our time, we hear you but we politely disagree. Plants are weird.)

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This was a long weekend here and we didn’t do a lot of work. Instead we borrowed a plant atlas from the library and we tried to identify local weeds in it to create a herbarium with our son(s). Sometimes it’s hard.

It is a lot of fun though and makes you pay more attention to the greenery around (also makes you realize how few plant names you know). Long ago in elementary school I had to do this as a big homework and that might have been the only homework that ever taught me anything. So yeah, highly recommended.

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Filmowa Stolica Lata (Summer Movie Capital) is a film festival that takes place in Warsaw every summer. Movies are played in the open air in various districts of the city. This year again we had the pleasure of creating the lead illustration for the festival and all the materials based on it. The only suggestion we got this year was to use exotic animals – and, of course, we were all for it.

We chose the tiger because the stripes can be easily turned into film reel and because it is such a beautiful animal. The illustration is inspired by old Chinese presentations of tigers but simplified and geometricized. The typography lightly references Chinese lettering.

One of the posters, with movie listing for one of the screenings.

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This year for its holiday program Experyment Science Center focuses on space travel and flying. We were asked to design a poster which would combine this theme with play and experiments. When we told them what we wanted to do, we were given three boxes of fun stuff: science toys, microscope parts, lab equipment, a model of the solar system. We also raided our son’s room for toys and then constructed a rocket of all those bits and pieces we chose.

Projects like this are awesome for reminding us that design is more than being stuck to the computer screen and can be fun in more than one way.

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The flashlights-as-rocket-engines might be our favorite part.

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Our website is finally up! Today’s post is more of the story of its creating than a collection of pictures but for those two interested people, here’s the story.

We commissioned our previous website a long time ago. A friend coded it and we were happy with it – but it was a terrible time to get a new website. Just about a year later or even less than that the internet changed completely. Gradually, but not that gradually, all the websites worth their pixels were becoming responsive (which made sense as more and more people browsed on their phones). Our website, however, wasn’t. It was stuck in a small rectangle. While this wasn’t a major issue at first, it soon became one, with the website looking minuscule on both large monitors and phones. We ignored this for a while but in – yep – 2014 we decided to make a new website. We wanted to use the opportunity to start showing some projects differently and we got down to it quite enthusiastically. In fact, we were so over the old website that we stopped updating it completely (the fact that it had a rather complicated updating system didn’t help to keep it current). However, it took us, as you math whizzes already figured out, five years to get the job done: Five years of having an online presence that slowly evolved from inaccurate to embarrassing. There were always more important (aka paying) things to do and then we had a kid and then another one and also sometimes we wanted to sleep. So the website was always there as one of those looming duties you never get down to. But finally we struck a deal with great front-end developers and after inevitable delays on both sides (ah, that sleeping thing; also, pregnancy) we managed to design the website, have it coded and then have it fixed with our innumerable, pain-in-the-ass remarks which our programmer took on like a champ. (Seriously, we’re still awed by his infinite patience and professionalism.) Now, the website is still far from finished. We only added a handful of projects so far. We still need to test more stuff. But it’s up and it’s no longer embarrassing and we’re really relieved.

If you skipped the previous paragraph, we don’t blame you at all. The important thing is: here’s the link to visit the website, enjoy.

Next stop: a new look for the blog. It’s getting urgent so expect it some time in 2024.

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This week’s post has to be delayed for a bunch of great reasons. One, we have all of us a nasty cold, thanks to J’s preschool experience. And I mean, nasty. I don’t know how people deal with those preschool viruses. And two, we’re rushing (despite the fever) to finish our new website which has been literally five years in the making and we want to have it live this week. It’s a ton of work but it’s quite satisfying. Enjoy the preview.