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As promised last week, we are sharing the proper photos of the temporary monument built in front of the city hall in Gdynia to commemorate the shipyard workers killed in December 1970 by the communist governement.

The display combined architectural design, animation and graphic design to share information about the events that happened 50 years ago in the city streets. We were touched to see positive, interested reactions of people who happened to come by to see the display as we were taking photos of it.

This was a difficult, also emotionally difficult, topic to work on (it also included time restraints and lots of spray painting) but seeing the raised construction at night was quite powerful.

Credits: concept and architectural design by Anna Grabowska with the technical help of Tomek Sokolski, script by Maugo Domańska, animations by Esy-floresy Studio, management by Hilta/Paulina Neugebauer.

Section titles are taken from a famous, vernacular song about the events, “Janek Wiśniewski Fell.” The wall below shows the entire song. Many of the archival photos from that day, including the one used below, show a crowd of people carrying the body of the killed boy on a door. This became a powerful symbol.

This is the wall with the animation panel – it’s hard to tell in some of the photos because the animations fit so well with the rest of the design, thanks to the great work of Esy-floresy.
Above the title wall (with the Year 1970 Gdynia) there’s another, smaller animation panel (with the eye).

In addition to the construction, another commemorative design consisted of a series of black flags/banners spread over the main street of Gdynia. Some of them were entirely black while others carried first names and ages of the people killed in those events.

This year the Museum of Gdańsk is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To emphasize this important occasion this year’s calendar that we designed presents a selection of archival photos of Gdańsk from the Museum’s collection, taken by a great photographer, Marian Murman.

The design was to be simple, with large, clear calendar and the photos in their original black-and-white colors. We used a metallic spot color for elements of the design and for the entire cover. Sometimes when you work with good photographic material it’s a pleasure to take a step back and let it speak for itself.

We are very happy to let you know that the book Gardens of Gdańsk was selected as a finalist of the competition Good Design (Dobry Wzór). The book was designed for the Museum of Gdańsk.

Dobry Wzór is a Polish design competition interesting in that designers cannot submit their work. Rather, the jurors look for interesting designs among products available commercially on the Polish market and choose nominations from among them, focusing on those producs which provide the customers with good design value. So it was a big deal to us when the book was noticed and nominated for the competition and we are overjoyed now that it’s among the finalists. The book will also be seen shown in a post-competition exhibition later in Autumn.

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Recently we showed you the family of urban explorers designed to promote the city of Gdynia as a tourist destination. The family has now gained new incarnations and visited new sites of the city in the additional illustrations we created. They are lazing on the beach and staying active by the seaside.

And in the animations created by Esy-Floresy Studio, who invited as to this collaboration, the family explores much more! They see the modernist architecture, train and finally relax. You can see the animations on Esy-Floresy’s YT channel here (this is the first one).

Hope everyone is having a good, relaxing summer!

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This is the family on the beach by the center of the city. The fish monument is one of the characteristic sites of the city. In the background you can see the yacht harbor and one of the modernist buildings that create the landscape of Gdynia.

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Here the family relaxes in Orłowo, a pretty district by the sea, with two well-known attractions in the background: the cliff and the wooden pier.

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The Poor, the Sick, the Orphaned. Hospitals of Gdańsk from the Middle Ages till Modern Times is a book we designed for the Museum of Gdańsk. It describes the phenomenon of Gdańsk’s early hospitals, which date back to the Middle Ages and which started as religious charity ventures for people that had nowhere else to go. In fact, the first hospitals had surprisingly little to do with what we think of as hospitals today. The book accompanied an exhibition that we also designed and that was prepared by the historians of medicine.

The title of the book is printed on the cover with red shiny foil and throughout the book we used the original etchings and paintings that illustrated the history of Gdańsk’s hospitals in the exhibition so that it’s part collection of historical essays and part catalogue.

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The book Miasta skoszarowane (Cities as Military Barracks) by Jan Daniluk was published by the Museum of Gdańsk. This doctoral thesis describes the life in the cities of Gdańsk and Sopot during the Second World War when the German army stationed there and how this affected people’s life. A large part of the book focuses on the daily life under those difficult circumstances.

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Because of the subject matter we chose a strong visual language with some disconcerting elements. Everything is printed in black and vivid red, some elements are framed with thick broken frames symbolizing the oppresion of the period and many typographic elements are broken. We are grateful to the author (and quite impressed by him!) for his openness and trust in our ideas which led to an unusual historic book (and, of course, to the publisher for agreeing to all of this).

The cover with an archival photo. The broken frame is printed with black foil.

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The beginning of chapter three: a title spread and first pages.

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