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As our focus drifts now a little to babies (and as we did some huge bookshelf cleaning recently), we remembered one of the first artsy books that our son liked: ABC by Bruno Munari. Bruno Munari was quite a fascinating Italian artist and children’s books were just a small part of his wide artistic and scientific explorations – but it’s the one we’re most familiar with. ABC is a classic letters primer, which uses very elegant, high-contrast typography and lovely, slightly old-fashioned illustrations. While this might not be a book in which you find new tiny details during each re-reading, its very simplicity appeals to children and its high aesthetic level develops their sensitivity.

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This is one gorgeous onion.

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In addition to the regular design work, a half of us teaches an introductory course to graphic design in the Academy of Fine Arts. Last year with the students of the then first year we did a project inspired by both the Beatles and the projects Vaughan Oliver did with his students on the Pixies. We did a booklet inspired by the Beatles’ One.

Each student drew a title of one of the songs and was supposed to create a photograph including the title and the time of the song, juxtaposing it with the lyrics. While the lyrics remained unornamented, the photograph had to create a scene whose atmosphere would comment on the song – on its lyrics or particularly on its mood. It was important to show how you can use typography, light and composition to create a mood of a design.

Here you get a chance to see the results and let me tell you, they surprised us with their maturity.

Bernard Kiedrowicz and “Yellow Submarine,” making use of our seaside location and Lego blocks.

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Ula Aksinowicz and “Lady Madonna” made of rose petals and thorns.

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Weronika Płucienniczek and the nostalgia for “Yesterday.”

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Marta Zaparucha and “Eleanor Rigby” in a meditation on old age.

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Aleksandra Bołbot and “Hard Day’s Night.”

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Julia Jaros and the hippie life in “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

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Katarzyna Cur and the play of light in “Let It Be.”

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Zuzanna Harat and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” made of colorful candy.

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And another take on candy: Nikola Kądziela and “Hello, Goodbye.”

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Marianna Pawłusiów, paper hands and “Help!”

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Natalia Szenborn and “Eight Days a Week” on a wall.

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Magda Bujara’s “All You Need Is Love” among the padlocks on a bridge of love.

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Magda Misztal’s “Hey Jude” in a letter.

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Paulina Zubowicz and “From Me to You” in glitter.

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The cover (the first photo on the top), together with the back cover and the inside spread (below), with a lovely, somewhat surreal use of fake fur by Paulina Wiczanowska.

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This summer Experyment Science Center is organizing a series of events for children to help them spend the time in an interesting and educational way. We designed promo materials for the event. The challenge lied in the fact that the offer consists of different, varied activities and we had to bring them all together. We decided to use the motif of a treasure map along which there are various spots marked with Xs, informing about what you can learn in Experyment in summer. These skills include setting bonfires, staying safe by the water, using a compass, making a pocket constellation, using first aid, predicting the weather and recognizing local plants. As you can plainly see, we illustrated these scout-like skills with simple illustrations which together create the path on the map. The rest of the available space is filled with trees and additional illustrations that complete the suggestion of the outdoors. We are happy with how we managed to make a unified whole out of a poster with so much contents, which is always  more difficult than just illustrating one short message.

The main design we created is the poster, which was later reformated to other media. In addition to that we also designed a small doube-sided leaflet which required a slightly different use of the graphics.

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Both sides of the leaflet.

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Details of the poster and the leaflet.

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Baltic Blue Biotechnology Alliance unites European institutions which provide opportunities for people and companies developing biotechnological solutions for the Baltic Sea. We designed their latest brochure, another in a series of publications for Berlin-based Submariner Network.

The brochure introduces all the partners in the Alliance, giving information about their status, location, operations and the kind of help they provide. We designed the layout to accommodate this varied information, allowing to pick the most important parts of it at a glance. Stylistic choices were determined by previous Submariner publications but this time we added bigger texts and even more kinds of infographics. On the cover again we used a pattern of varnished waves that are only visible at certain angles.

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The color scheme of sea blue, bright yellow green and vivid pink is one we suggested for the project while designing its first materials.

Title page with a wave ornament on the inside of the cover.

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Typical partner spread with information about the institution.

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Overview table.

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List of contents.

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Informative introduction.

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Today we want to share with you the first one of two lovely books from our bookshelf. We got it a little bit by accident and really loved it. It’s illustrated by Katie Scott and called Animalium because, you know, it’s about animals. (Also, we got it in Polish so look at the margins for the translation of the spreads’ titles but you can easily get in it English.)

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The book recreates a natural history museum and present all sorts of animals in an educational (and lovely) way. On the cover you can even see a golden hotstamped ticket (in the top right-hand corner), which says “Animal Museum Ticket” (it says “Welcome to the Museum / Admit All” in the original version but I like the Polish version better, I think? by a narrow margin) and this little detail sets the tone for the whole book.

Welcome to Animalium. Introduction

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Inside you will find illustrations and descriptions of all kinds of creatures from across the whole animal kingdom, arranged according to clear criteria. There are so many things to love about the book:

  • Illustrations. They are obviously inspired by old scientific encyclopedic etchings, only more colorful and partly modernized
  • Title typeface, a pretty one by Hipopotam Studio
  • Lushness. The book is just full of gorgeous details and, as the ticket on the cover suggests, has a certain luxurious quality to it (also because it’s really big, format-wise)
  • No age limit. It can be exciting both for kids and adults. Our son loved Animalium even if he was technically too little for books
  • Educational value, no duh

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Cnidaria (admittedly, not a word I knew before)

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Amphibians

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Natural environment: woods

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Penguins

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Bats

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Rodents

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Library

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