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Today we’re sharing another book we designed for the Museum of Gdańsk. It is the first one in a series of books which will examine the history of various districts of the city of Gdańsk. It focuses on one of the lesser known districts called Chełm and presents scientific articles about its history, starting from its oldest past and coming to quite recent events. The articles are illustrated with photos and, particularly, maps.

As is always the case with designing scientific books, one has to find balance between the clear and legible presentation of serious, and sometimes a little dry, subject matter and an appealing visual character of the book. We used a strong lead color (it will change for future books in the series) and modern, clean typography. Page compositions favor the central axis. The cover uses a fragment of a lovely old illustration showing the district in question. The typesetting was quite a precise job because of a number of long footnotes but we enjoy this kind of labor (we’re not party people).

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We finally managed to photograph a book we designed earlier this year (others still await their turn because we suck at time management). The book, designed for the Museum of Gdańsk, describes in detail ship models that one can see in one of the Museum’s departments, the Artus Court: their built, history and more. The models are really something, by the way: big, colorful and quite impressive.  Modern and historical photographs show all aspects of the ships, including their interesting exposition in the historical interior of the building.

The book is meant as the beginning of a new series so we needed to come up with design solutions that could be repeated in other books with very different themes. We chose to add a spot color, this time a vivid dark blue that appears on the cover and inside of the book, on some photographs and in the text. The cover also uses silver hotstamping for the title to make it shine more on the blue background.

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The inside of the cover has a surprise for anyone who cares to open the flap.

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A spread including a historical photo in blue.

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And here’s the other flap. Our son loves uncovering the fish hiding underneath.

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While this is a fairly simple book design, it gave us a lot of joy to work on – as books usually do.

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City, one of the cult TV shows of the late 90s / early 2000s, which changed the way people talked about sex and female friendship on TV. As you might have noticed, we like celebrating shows that were important to us with posters and so we have designed a poster for the occasion. Since one of the more characteristic things about the show (and one which has aged a little better than others) was always fashion, particularly Carrie Bradshaw’s crazy outfits, we have focused the poster on Carrie’s classic (and less classic) looks, 69 of them.

We did a whole lot of research (both re-watching the show and looking at many, many lists of “best outfits on SATC”) and sketched more than 90 looks that seemed important, then trimming the list down a little (it was still a lot of dresses to draw). We generally focused on those clothes which were somehow connected with the storylines and so, to my chagrin, did not include almost any of my personal favorites: the lunch outfits, but instead recreated various combinations she wore when breaking up and reconnecting with her significant boyfriends and experiencing .

If you like the poster, you may buy it from bza.co.

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And if you like the behind-the-scenes images, here’s what the research notes look like (we’re not those designers who make beautiful, print-ready sketches).

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As the summer season is slowly approaching, we’re sharing today a very summery book we designed last year for the Museum of Gdańsk. It is a catalog for an exhibition showing postcards and photographs of beaches in Gdańsk before 1939: some of them still exist while others no longer serve as recreational beaches. The catalog included most of the photos shown on the exhibition but we could present them in any way we wanted.

The visual material was very rich and quite exciting once you really delved into it (all the old swimwear!) but in its mass seemed a bit monotonous so we decided to make it more modern. We created a sunny, cheerful color palette to color the photographs and added illustrative, geometric elements: stripes, waves, birds etc.

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On  the cover we used varnished stripes on an old photo that the Museum wanted to use. The stripes – inspired by old swimsuits – are the main visual motif organizing the entire layout, including its geometry.

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Beginning of a chapter.

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Page numbering close-up.

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Sometimes we chose fragments of photographs to use.

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While the sheer amount of photographs to edit made it an intense publication to work on, we’re very happy with the final results.

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One of our recent(ish) works for the Museum of Gdańsk was the design of a catalog and other materials for an exhibition of silver objects borrowed from the Wawel collection. The exhibition showed a selection of objects d’art displaying the mastery of old masters from Gdańsk. The catalog presents all the objects, prefaced by critical texts by the exhibition’s curators.

We chose to use silver spot color for the catalog (because how could we not). We opted for slightly old-fashioned typography offset by a simple sans serif. In fact, only the titular typeface with its fantastic decorative elements is one of few elements of the design that are not understated. We also designed an ornament inspired by an ornament on one of the exhibits and later geometricized.

For the cover we used a detail of one of the exhibits printed with spot silver, with silver hotstamping of the title directly on it.

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The silver ornament is used in different parts of the catalog.

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A silver spoon. All the exhibits got separate spreads with a full-page photo and a lot of specialized information, in addition to the regular description.

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A spread from one of the introductory essays.

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Introduction by the Museum’s Director.

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In addition to the catalog, we also designed other materials, including informative boards that told the story of some of the exhibits: their previous owners, how they were used etc. We kept the boards consistent with both the catalog and the suggestions of the designer of the exhibition.

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This comes a few days after St. Valentine’s but hopefully you are still in a romantic mood. This year Experyment Science Center chose magnets as the theme of their yearly evening for adults and we designed the poster and other materials. As previously, participants had a chance to look at love from a scientific point of view.

We continued the designs with the style we have already developed for this event but this year we had a chance to add a man to the illustration. In fact, we had to work on him a little bit because the first version was bearded and we decided we didn’t like that. In the end he seems younger and a bit more, well, science-oriented.

Poster design.

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Leaflet.

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January is the month when you change your calendar so we want to share the calendar we designed for the Museum of Gdańsk.

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The Museum consists of several departments, situated in some of the prettiest old buildings in Gdańsk. Each month shows a different department with a picture of the building on the one side and a detail, usually from the inside, on the other, so you can choose which picture you prefer on your wall for the given month. The dates are limited to an ornamental strip on the right so that the calendar is mostly decorative. On the last page you get information about all the departments.

The photos used in the calendar are by Dariusz Kula.

The cover uses an old etching of the city house and the Artus Court, both belonging to the museum.

The dominant color is navy blue from the new identity of the museum. We even got the binding in dark blue, which isn’t always as easy to do as it should be with some printing houses.

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