Our exhibition in the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk is open for a few more days (until Thursday) if you feel like dropping by. Otherwise, please enjoy a few photos that we took.
The gallery space is cozy, with a few charming details, including an old doorway. We chose a simple, minimalistic arrangement based on black and white, with coral-red accents. Since most of the book designs include patterns or ornaments we used those to design symbols so that each book is represented by one. We replaced most captions with those symbols, referring the viewer to the boards on the wall so that they can participate in a small riddle. (They don’t have to, of course, because it’s not hard to figure out which board goes with which book anyway.) From the boards they can learn details about the book they’re looking at: its client, technical specs, grid.
We’ve been busy working on a small exhibition of our books that will happen in our alma mater (and also a workplace of one of us), the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. We will be showing a few of our books together with technical information about their design. If you’re around and are curious to see in the flesh the books we’ve been showing here, do drop by, either for the opening on the 20th or until the beginning of March. If it’s too far or otherwise inconvenient, we will share photos later. For now please enjoy the poster.
We’ve been mostly stuck at home for the longest time now but at least one of the books we designed got to travel far. Theodor Joseph Blell Inventory for the Castle Museum of Malbork was awarded last year in the Most Beautiful Polish Books Competition and together with the other winners it is exhibited in Taiwan Design Museum in Taipei! We are sharing with you a few photos we received courtesy of the Museum and below please find a fragment of the press release. This is quite exciting for us!
What an interesting typography in this poster.
What is the meaning of a ‘beautiful’ book and the ‘virtue’ underneath the surface of a book? These books are not just any books – this will be made clear at Not Just Library of Taiwan Design Research Institute, where the very rare, extraordinary and first exhibition of The Most Beautiful Polish Books takes place in early 2023 during the Lunar New Year from 17 January to 19 March. Curated by the Sasson Kung – an expert in European graphic design and Jessie Chen – the publisher of a graphic design zine Circle, the exhibition is hosted and organized by the Taiwan Design Research Institute with contributions from Polish Office in Taipei and the full, unconditional support from The Polish Association of Book Publishers (PTWK) – bringing the magnificent results of the Most Beautiful Polish Books competition 2021 (the 62nd in its long history) to the audience in Taiwan. The Institute also liaises with Taipei Book Fair Foundation to jointly celebrate the Guest of Honor – Poland at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this year. […] Collectively these books portray the breadth and depth of subjects (history, arts, music, theatre, movies, social issues…) and demonstrate the mastery in editing, visual and graphic arts (some subtle, some bold, classic, modern, simplistic, intricate, eccentric… but always functional) with the support of exquisite printing crafts in contemporary Polish publishing industry. They manifest the unique ‘beautiful’ viewpoints and styles, remind the audience of the great achievements of Polish graphic design throughout its history (the renowned Polish School of Posters in 1950s–60s) and prove how design could evolve without losing its essence, heritage and identity.
From Taiwan Design Museum materials
On the left in the back you can see the Blell cover adapted for a promo poster!
All the photos in the post except for this one by Taiwan Design Museum. This one just to remind you the book.
As the title says, we are very happy to announce that the book we recently shared with you, Regnum defendo… designed for the Castle Museum of Malbork, received a Communication Arts Award for book design. We thank the jurors for recognizing our work and thanks to the client for letting us go a little wild with it.
We are very happy to share with you the fact that Theodor Joseph Blell Inventory received awards in The Most Beautiful Polish Books competition. The book received an Honorary Mention and a Special Award for perfect typesetting. This book, which we described in detail here, was an exciting challenge and we are delighted to have it noticed, also in its more technical, less flashy aspect that nonetheless cost us a lot of time and ingenuity. (Those tables!)
Tomorrow we’re participating in a double event. It consists of a promotion of the book Fête funèbre or Art and Death, which is published by the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts and which we designed. The book follows an exhibition catalog that we designed a few years ago and includes essays on the subject of how death influences art. (We will obviously show you the book once we have it.)
The other event is an opening of an exhibition titled Hamlet’s Prop: Skull in Visual Arts and among some great works there will be also our modest poster from the Iconic Painters series, on de La Tour.
We also had the pleasure of designing the poster for the event: it combines a plant motif used for the book cover with a skull invoked by the exhibition’s title. You can see a simplified version above (with way less text than in the printed version but the same illustration). If you’re in Gdańsk and in a slightly morbid mood, come join us!
This used to be a guessing game but we already told you the answer.
So this week let us share some news from the recent weeks.
First, we’re happy to share that two of our books from last year were shortlisted in the Most Beautiful Books of the Year competition! One of them, The Blell Inventory, we already shared, the other one, The Colors of Gdańsk, we’re still photographing! (We’re so behind with that…)
And second, during this year’s European Night of Museums we will participate in the event organized by the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, where we will conduct a tiny little typographic workshop. With the participants we will create typographic posters made of vegetable (and maybe fruit) letters. Hope to see some of you there (the space is limited but if you happen to be around Gdańsk and feel like that’s an interesting way to spend an hour, you can sign up here)!
It says “The Night of Museums” and our older son had a lot of fun helping with the letters. It seems he’ll learn strange typography before he learns to write properly.
Earlier this year we were awarded Communication Arts award for the design of Reports of the Society for the Reconstruction and Beautification of the Malbork Castle (this title is so long, huh?). Here‘s the project we shared earlier.
We finally received our very cool trophy and, even cooler, the design annual including the Reports and so many other wonderful designs. I might have shared this story or not but when I joined art class in my high school (which was a bit out of character for me and, as it turned out, life-transforming), the classroom had a collection of old Communication Arts annuals that I loved flipping through. They felt almost exotic and certainly exciting, the things you can do with simple drawing. It feels like a rather unique achievement to see our design in this publication.