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This year for the long weekend we have at the beginning of May Experyment Science Center offers attractions that explain the work of oceanographers who study the Baltic Sea. We had the pleasure of designing a poster for the event.

The poster was directed at both children and adults and so we had to find a style that would appeal to both. Since most of the events deal with the study of the underwater life forms, we chose to illustrate various Baltic Sea inhabitants as being lighted by the light of a scientific submarine (obviously yellow, because references). It was quite fun to choose from various fish and other organisms and to illustrate them in a unified, geometric style.

A horizontal version of the poster for use online.

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Turbot.

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Porpoise (like wolves, it’s also in need of protection, by the way) and a flounder.

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Good old cod.

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Eel and brittle star.

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Hope this makes you want to visit a seaside for the beginning-of-May weekend (if you celebrate it, of course).

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Last year the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk held a large exhibition entitled Fête funèbre. The participating artists presented their reflections on the subject of death. We were invited to design the catalog for the exhibition, which we were very happy to do. Gloomy subject notwithstanding, as we might have mentioned already, catalogs are the best things to design, barring none.

The catalog includes profiles of all the artists with the presentation of their work and also two academic articles on the representations of death in the history of art, all of the texts both in Polish and in English. So the layout needed to be flexible enough to include all these elements. As it was also the first stage of our work on the guidelines for future publications, it needed to be quite orderly and consequent.

We wanted to reflect the somber tone of the exhibition but without making the whole thing depressing, so we chose to use a lot of black offset by a (quite lovely, really) warm-silver metallic color and red accents. This limited color palette created a good background for the presentation of the varied works. We used the symbol of the dagger, traditionally used in biographic notes to mark the time of death, and thick frames that are also sometimes used to mark the names of the deceased. We also chose somewhat decorative serif typography for the titles.

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The dust cover turned out quite lovely, thanks to printing techniques that the photo does not do justice. What looks here like dull beige is actually the same metallic color, combined with matte silver hot-stamping on the texts and the frame.

Silver hot-stamping, but not the shiny kind.

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The cover under the dust jacket uses reversed colors and no text. The flowers have also lost their heads.

Title page, with the dagger ornament on the left.

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Close-up of the ornament, in red and silver – probably the most lively bit of the design (the pun was truly not intended but, oh well).

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Close-up of the names of the participating artists (the frame used in its traditional function).

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The exhibition was held in the unusual architecture of the Academy’s exhibition space and most photos that were used were taken on the spot, which gives the whole catalog a unique feeling.

Most photographs by Bartosz Żukowski.

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Paintings by Beata Ewa Białecka.

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More sculptures by Mariusz Białecki.

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How could we resist the use of red thread? We never do.

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The two languages are set side by side in two columns, Polish in black and English in silver.

A spread from one of the scientific articles.

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Despite the inherent melancholy of the subject matter, the catalog was true joy to work on (and to see the final result when we got our copies).

In case you want it, here’s a 3-day promo link for free shipping in our Society6 store.

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In the middle of winter (well, hopefully, at the end of it), we’re sharing a vaguely spring design we did last year. We created a catalog for an exhibition called Planting Seeds that happened in the Łaźnia Art Center. This was an event by Irwin group from Slovenia.

The exhibition was promoted with the photo of the artists who were, well, planting seeds and we needed to use it on the cover. At first, we planned to cut it into four parts, with different covers having different parts of the photo but it was necessary to use the whole photo in the end. So we arranged it in such a way that you can combine two covers to see all of it.

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Inside we used a bright pink color for one language version of the text and as a strong visual element. As a decorative motif we created a grid of dots to symbolize seeds and used them throughout the publication.

Title page with dots and pink.

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Close-up of the contents pages.

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Introduction to the catalog.

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As Irwin art is rather conceptual the catalog contains more texts than images so it was important to find a good layout for the articles.

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Catalogs – always one of the best kinds of job.

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As a gift for friends we created two illustrations, presenting their patron saints. Saint Catherine of Siena was a 14th century nun and philosopher, a visionary, proclaimed a Doctor of the Church and a patron of Italy. Her attributes include a lily, a book, stigmata and a crown of thorns. Saint Gregory the Great was a pope of the Roman Church, also a Doctor of the Church, reformer and philosopher. He’s traditionally presented with a book and a papal crown, sometimes with a dove.

We drew inspiration from the classic representations of these saints, especially those rather austere ones approaching icons, but we modernized them with monoline drawings and a more decorative color palette.

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In what has become a bit of a tradition, this year again we celebrate St. Valentine’s by sharing the poster we did for Experyment Science Center. The poster is an invitation for an adults’ evening where, among other attractions, experts try to explain love in scientific terms. This year’s theme included the chemistry of love and how different chemicals are responsible for the emotions that we feel.

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In what has become a trademark for this series we again chose to illustrate a lovely lady but this time we focused on perfume and the love compound and not so much on her science-related look. We chose intense color scale with hot pinks offset by aquas.

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So please enjoy your St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow, whether celebrating it with your loved ones or just doing something fun for yourselves. We are convinced that any holiday is worth celebrating, whether in its spirit or differently – that’s up to you.

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One of our latest works, not yet in our hands, is a post-exhibition catalog (always a favorite kind of job) Fête Funèbre. Last week we were approving dust jacket printouts in the printing house and so today we can share teaser photos of the extremely cool hotstamping that they have. We will show you the rest of the catalog – including, well, its interior – once we get our copies but that may be a while yet.

Also, did you know that visiting a printing house can be sort of exciting (if not done too often when it becomes a bother)?

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A while ago we designed a brochure for the Center of Modern Art Łaźnia. This periodical publication presents all the events of the season and we had the pleasure of adapting our template for the Fall/Winter season.

This time the size was reduced to A5 so we had to redesign the grid but it actually proved quite adaptable. The colors changed from the institution’s colors to more fall-appropriate orange and purple but we kept the other elements of the layout.

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The beginning with general information and events’ schedule.

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Close-up of the schedule.

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Striped margins indicate in which of two buildings events take place. Outside events are marked with double-colored stripes.

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Last spread with contact information.

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