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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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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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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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Last week we shared a bit of our identity for an event celebrating Andrzej Bobkowski. As promised, today comes the rest of the design, including the poster which was the base for other materials.

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This time it took us two attempts to get the design right: the first poster was not dynamic enough and didn’t include enough allusions to books. Pretty much all it had was biking and various places where Bobkowski lived. But when it got scraped we kept the paper biker (though a more dynamic one) and set him on an obstacle course built of books. The books also created space to place all the additional information (and as you can see there was quite a lot of it). We added diagonal elements parallel to the books to make the composition more integrated and more dynamic, and combined it with a simple, narrow letter.

Paper Bobkowski on his paper bike, scaling the world of literature.

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Once we had the poster we applied similar solutions to the design of the folder. At first, one side of the folder was supposed to repeat the poster but there was too much  text for that so both sides include descriptions of planned events (such as literary workshops and games for kids).

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The cover of the folder.

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Bobkowski’s archival photo.

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For the second half of holidays we present a travel-related illustration project. Podróżowniki is a series of award-winning children books that introduce popular travel destinations through a mix of information and activities for kids. The books were designed by Podpunkt studio and we illustrated two of them: the guide to Croatia and to the Tatra and Pieniny Mountains in Poland.

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Since the series was illustrated by several different illustrators, to keep a unified look we needed to follow guidelines: the illustrations are hand-drawn, a little sketchy and black-and-white (the bits of color that do appear were added later during typesetting).

The map of Croatia, with tourist destinations and basic information.

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Animal names in Croatian.

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The inner flaps of the covers have additional materials: a memo game with a selection of illustrations and a board game where you recreate your travels with pawns.

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Sayings from the mountains and a calendar of local holidays (some of which include dancing).

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A reminder not to scare animals in the wild.

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Match ghosts with their dwellings (and other local attractions).

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The things you eat in the mountains.

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Hot therms to relax in (illustrations with a lot of details are the best fun to draw).

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Marten, as the source of Croatian money.

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Janosik, a folk hero.

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I know we often say this, but this project was so much fun to work on! While research-heavy and fairly time-consuming, it was one of the most exciting (and relaxing at the same time) things we did in a while because when you draw actually using your hands, it’s a different kind of energy than the usual, computer-based work..