Recently we reread The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas and found out a couple of useful things, such as: it’s honorable to hang your wife if she didn’t disclose all her tattoos before wedding and as long as you’re born noble innkeepers have no right to ask you for money for their services. And then we decided the book coincided well with our current typographic experiment: creating letters by cutting into a sheet of paper with a knife, which resulted in today’s poster.
We used blue paper with golden fleur-de-lis ornament to symbolize the French monarchy and red color underneath, which stands both for blood and the Cardinal lurking behind. The cutting obviously alludes to sword-fighting.
The poster is a part of our ongoing series, which we had no chance to present so far, called Theatre of Literature. For each poster we pick one great novel and design a theater-like poster. Each design consists of the novel’s title presented typographically and in a specific material (so away from the computer and so far mostly in paper). This is our current pet project as it actually combines our love of design, literature and letters. More posters coming soon.
Close-ups of the poster (it’s entirely hand-made, even the ornament, as witnessed by the imperfections).
And this is the logo of the series, in our favorite Didot.
As mentioned in the beginning a typographic experiment came before the poster. We tried to present each letter of the alphabet as a cut in a sheet of paper, where the 3-dimensionality plays part in the legibility. Below is the rough first attempt at what we intend to become the Slasher Alphabet.
Close-ups of single letters.
Most of the time design is about little things, meaning not only commas and kerning but mostly small projects: business cards, newspaper ads, leaflets – here today, gone tomorrow and not that exciting to share. But as this is such a big part of our job we want to show them every now and then. Today’s project is a leaflet for the Science and Technology Park in Gdynia.
The leaflet informs about the expansion of the Park and invites new companies to join. We received few guidelines for the project, except for the size and the distribution of the contents throughout the leaflet. We decided to base on something we enjoy working with, namely icons, and to rely on a color palette to make an impression.
This is the cover of the leaflet. The Park’s branding uses Myriad Pro so it made sense to use it here but we combined it with another, more expressive typeface to highlight important information.
The logo suggests using circular forms so we decided to put the icons into circles and add color splashes through smaller dots. Cyan is the main color of the Park.
Open leaflet with detailed information about the Park’s offer and ways of contacting it through the internet. The leaflet uses grayish-beige background.
Below a selection of icons. Some of the more generic icons came from a free font but more specific ones had to be designed.
A little inside piece of information on how inspiration works: The double arrow comes from a contents sketch we received from the client. It was used as a punctuation method to indicate bullet lists and we decided to keep it as the leaflet’s symbol. We actually used it for bullet lists instead of bullets and built a big version of colored dots for the back cover of the leaflet.
The officials of the city of Gdańsk decided a while ago to produce The Encyclopedia of Gdańsk, a huge compendium of all things relating to the city in a heavy-book format. We were involved in the initial design stages of the project, designing logo, layout and other materials.
The logo is a simple encircled monogram with a serif logotype. Its design had to enable the creation of various promo materials such as metal pins and bookmarks so the sign consists of one element that can be cut out.
Three versions of the cover were initially designed. The basic one is grid-based, with photographs depicting important Gdańsk-related people, places and events. The second cover is bound in canvas with a paper sticker representing Gdańsk’s crest. The third, over-the-top one is leather-bound, with golden lettering, gilded edges and ambitions to look like it came from a 19th-century bookcase.
Layout is traditional, three-column and grid-based like you would expect from any old encyclopedia. Simple and elegant, designed by our friend Asia Kurowska and polished a bit by us.
The design of book casing to look even more impressive on a bookshelf, should the buyer not cough up for the leather-bound version:
And the layout of the promotional website.
The Encyclopedia is way out of our hands now and we’re no more sure what the final result will look like than we know whether such a publication is at all needed in this day. Still, it was an ambitious challenge while it lasted.
* Gdańsk is not exactly where we live in these days.
Today a bit of possibly business news – and plea for help. We have been receiving heart-warming requests for printed posters of our self-initiated projects and we would love to provide. But from where we live the shipping rates are downright crazy and so we can’t offer a reasonable price. So we’re looking for the kind of service that lets you send the artwork to them and they print and ship it anywhere, paying you your share of the price.
We’d like to ask for your opinion: can you recommend any service like this? It’d have to fulfill the following criteria:
- Not be limited to the US (we’re EU citizens here).
- Obviously, not take away any copyrights and manage them as it pleases. We need to retain control of what they do with the artwork.
If it’s possible at all we’d love to compare and contrast a few options. Your stories about dealing with such service-providers would be invaluable (and we mean both recommendations and warnings). Here’s a sweetener, too: the person whose advice leads us to choosing the service gets his or her choice of an Iconic Poster free. If you have a recommendation, write to us.
If this works out, we’ll be starting with selling Iconic Shows, Iconic Painters and the third, yet undisclosed but fun part of the series to appear soon. Thank you!