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.
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.
Beginning of a chapter.
Page numbering close-up.
Sometimes we chose fragments of photographs to use.
While the sheer amount of photographs to edit made it an intense publication to work on, we’re very happy with the final results.
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.
The silver ornament is used in different parts of the catalog.
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.
A spread from one of the introductory essays.
Introduction by the Museum’s Director.
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.
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.
January is the month when you change your calendar so we want to share the calendar we designed for the Museum of Gdańsk.
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.
Do you know it’s been over five years since we first published our series Iconic TV Shows? Our style has changed somewhat since then and lots of those shows are no longer remembered or they also changed completely. Time flies.
Still, it’s one of our favorite – and definitely longest running – projects and we like adding new posters to the series. This year one of our biggest TV discoveries (well, “discovery” is a big word for a show everybody and their aunt saw before us) was the series pictured below and so we proudly add it to the collection.
And if you’re in love with Hawkins and want a bit of it on your wall, you can buy our poster here (also available as various other products) and here.
(And here for your convenience links to all the rest of them on bza – and they’re also on Society6.)
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of designing an annual report for the Historical Museum of Gdańsk. The Museum had recently changed its logo and started looking for a new, unified line of publications so the report became an introduction of new guidelines. The report presents the work and the departments of the Museum and all the important events that took place there in 2016.
Since the new logo (by a Portuguese firm, DO / Design Office) is based on a simple, smart solution of simplifying the crosses from Gdańsk’s crest into a grid of pluses, we followed up on the idea and used a derived grid as the main decorative element. We chose the colors of the logo – dark blue and red – as the leading colors of the design and illustrated the text with large photographs so that the publication became a bit like an album. The Museum has several beautiful old buildings with historical interiors whose photos are naturally lovely, and to emphasize the people of the institution we also chose colorful photos of costumed educators and reenactors.
The cover is embossed with the cross pattern and some of the crosses are laser-cut so that the dark blue from the other side forms a pattern of the year 2016. These choices meant a lot of anxiety for printers (“But there will be no foil on the cover!”) but in the end it turned out great.
Open report, flap folded.
Flap unfolded to reveal the laser-cut year and the debossing.
We used the pluses throughout the report as an ornament.
Close-up of the cover in all its print glory.
Experyment Science Centre is organizing a Science Night called Back to the Future about the truth and fiction in science-fiction. The poster had to include callbacks to science-fiction classics – and robots.
You may well imagine that this was just the thing to excite us, big geeks that we are. For the research phase we looked at tons of old science-fiction movie posters and we listed things they often include, like guns, empty planets and, most often, sexy ladies in trouble. We decided to play with those themes, while giving them a decidedly more modern and feminist skew: our lady is a no-nonsense scientist who controls the robot. She was a bit more sexy originally but that got toned down during the process. We also didn’t get to draw the planet because there was too much text but instead we combined elements of the text with the illustration.
The typography alludes to the classic Back to the Future movies without copying those solutions precisely, but instead keeping the typeface Experyment uses. The logotype is an important part of the design because it has to be recognizable as a standalone.