Our exhibition in the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk is open for a few more days (until Thursday) if you feel like dropping by. Otherwise, please enjoy a few photos that we took.
The gallery space is cozy, with a few charming details, including an old doorway. We chose a simple, minimalistic arrangement based on black and white, with coral-red accents. Since most of the book designs include patterns or ornaments we used those to design symbols so that each book is represented by one. We replaced most captions with those symbols, referring the viewer to the boards on the wall so that they can participate in a small riddle. (They don’t have to, of course, because it’s not hard to figure out which board goes with which book anyway.) From the boards they can learn details about the book they’re looking at: its client, technical specs, grid.
We’ve been busy working on a small exhibition of our books that will happen in our alma mater (and also a workplace of one of us), the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. We will be showing a few of our books together with technical information about their design. If you’re around and are curious to see in the flesh the books we’ve been showing here, do drop by, either for the opening on the 20th or until the beginning of March. If it’s too far or otherwise inconvenient, we will share photos later. For now please enjoy the poster.
We’ve been mostly stuck at home for the longest time now but at least one of the books we designed got to travel far. Theodor Joseph Blell Inventory for the Castle Museum of Malbork was awarded last year in the Most Beautiful Polish Books Competition and together with the other winners it is exhibited in Taiwan Design Museum in Taipei! We are sharing with you a few photos we received courtesy of the Museum and below please find a fragment of the press release. This is quite exciting for us!
What an interesting typography in this poster.
What is the meaning of a ‘beautiful’ book and the ‘virtue’ underneath the surface of a book? These books are not just any books – this will be made clear at Not Just Library of Taiwan Design Research Institute, where the very rare, extraordinary and first exhibition of The Most Beautiful Polish Books takes place in early 2023 during the Lunar New Year from 17 January to 19 March. Curated by the Sasson Kung – an expert in European graphic design and Jessie Chen – the publisher of a graphic design zine Circle, the exhibition is hosted and organized by the Taiwan Design Research Institute with contributions from Polish Office in Taipei and the full, unconditional support from The Polish Association of Book Publishers (PTWK) – bringing the magnificent results of the Most Beautiful Polish Books competition 2021 (the 62nd in its long history) to the audience in Taiwan. The Institute also liaises with Taipei Book Fair Foundation to jointly celebrate the Guest of Honor – Poland at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this year. […] Collectively these books portray the breadth and depth of subjects (history, arts, music, theatre, movies, social issues…) and demonstrate the mastery in editing, visual and graphic arts (some subtle, some bold, classic, modern, simplistic, intricate, eccentric… but always functional) with the support of exquisite printing crafts in contemporary Polish publishing industry. They manifest the unique ‘beautiful’ viewpoints and styles, remind the audience of the great achievements of Polish graphic design throughout its history (the renowned Polish School of Posters in 1950s–60s) and prove how design could evolve without losing its essence, heritage and identity.
From Taiwan Design Museum materials
On the left in the back you can see the Blell cover adapted for a promo poster!
All the photos in the post except for this one by Taiwan Design Museum. This one just to remind you the book.
Tomorrow we’re participating in a double event. It consists of a promotion of the book Fête funèbre or Art and Death, which is published by the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts and which we designed. The book follows an exhibition catalog that we designed a few years ago and includes essays on the subject of how death influences art. (We will obviously show you the book once we have it.)
The other event is an opening of an exhibition titled Hamlet’s Prop: Skull in Visual Arts and among some great works there will be also our modest poster from the Iconic Painters series, on de La Tour.
We also had the pleasure of designing the poster for the event: it combines a plant motif used for the book cover with a skull invoked by the exhibition’s title. You can see a simplified version above (with way less text than in the printed version but the same illustration). If you’re in Gdańsk and in a slightly morbid mood, come join us!
This used to be a guessing game but we already told you the answer.
We had a busy Night of Museums last Saturday. One of the events we took part in was the opening of an exhibition at the Museum of Gdańsk whose graphic elements we designed. The exhibition, titled “In a City Mood,” shows paintings of pre-war Gdańsk, created by artists who often lost their Gdańsk home. The image of the city is idealized, nostalgic but despite that, perhaps surprisingly, familiar to anyone who knows the city.
The exibition is arranged quite charmingly in a new exhibition space in the Artus Court in a way that recalls old, cozy salons, with dark blue walls, golden frames for the paintings and actual furniture: chests of drawers to open and see etchings inside and armchairs for visitors to rest in. Our designs correspond with the coziness of the interior design: with slightly old-fashioned ornaments and decorative serif typography they add to the exhibition’s sentimental atmosphere.
Last week we took our kids to a rather lovely exhibition, another one in a series organized by the Museum of Gdynia to celebrate the work of classic Polish illustrators of children’s books. This one presents the work of Bożena Truchanowska, an artist most active in the 1960s and 1970s, who illustrated scores of children’s and young adults’ books. The exhibition was designed as an interactive experience where kids could move things around, draw on a wall (or on paper) and literally get in touch with the world of Truchanowska’s drawings. It didn’t overwhelm with information (perhaps, in fact, adults could stand to learn a little more theory about the work of the artist) and our kids were delighted. In fact, it’s become a returning topic of discussion why you can’t draw on the walls at home if you can in the museum. The striking thing about Truchanowska’s work is how she never limited herself to a single style, as illustrators usually do, and if you look at a number of her illustrations it’s not always easy to tell they were created by the same person. While our kids enjoyed demolishing the exhibition, we were most interested in the original drawings and even book layouts exhibited on glass panes.
A movable structure with elements of illustrations from which you can build your own creatures.
Ants stuck on the floor.
The whole exhibition space turned colorful and chaotic with stickers.
Animals you could peek at through holes in a wooden structure (that was actually fun regardless of age).
The biggest hit with our kids: a board with movable illustration elements.
Truchanowska has a real way with drawing animals.
One of the original drawigns exhibited on a glass pane.
Sorry for the short hiatus but we’ve had a few deadlines and we took a super short vacation: we spent a weekend in Warsaw. While there, we visited the Type Directors Club exhibition in the Polish-Japanese Academy. The show was really small (it’s held in a lecture room) but we found a few interesting typographic designs that we wanted to share.
Below: Menil Collection Identity by Kristen Chon.
Complexity and Simplicity by HDU23 from Mainland China. This was lavishly printed with silver on black, which the photo doesn’t show but which really made the poster (this and the strong, clear composition).
Pango by Osborne Shiwan. We always like the combination of type and stylish sports photography.
Julliard School identity (fictional) by Karlo Fuertes Francisco. Type that (almost) sounds.
This poster by Srishti Jain from Savannah College of Art and Design immediately drew attention.
And finally some strong-as-always type posters by Paula Scher for Shakespeare in the Park. This only seems to get better with time.
If you in the area, drop by the exhibition and see for yourselves; it’s a short but interesting stop.
Yesterday we visited our local design festival, Gdynia Design Days, on our way home, and we saw a couple of small exhibitions. We felt it lacked something as engaging for us personally as last year’s exhibitions of illustration for children (here) but several things drew our attention.
This year’s identity of the festival is again by Patryk Hardziej. Here are a few elements of the signage.
This student diploma project by Paulina Kozicka attracted our attention because, first of all, illustrated animals, but also it looks like an interesting educational tool. It’s meant to teach children to read and while we didn’t exactly understand how (we wish there were some instructions exhibited), our son, who loves letters, got immediately drawn to playing with the elements. Also, bonus points for the lion’s mouth as one of the game spaces.
The elements of the game are made of wood, increasing the tactile value of the diploma.
This is a small exhibition which we found the most interesting, eco-freaks that we are. It shows various ways in which trash can be recycled into everyday products. Some of them we found decidedly not aesthetically pleasing (but an interesting trend nonetheless) but others seemed very promising. Paradoxically the best part was the obvious one, showing results of the well-known recycling of glass and paper (below glass made from glass, which is nothing strange but still right).
And this exhibition focused on climate changes and products you can buy that are a bit more eco-friendly. We liked that the products were buyable on the market but if an exhibition wants to talk about countering climate change maybe it should show more ways to act than just buying stuff. Like composting, composting is awesome.
An exhibition about cross-over between space exploration and design. It felt almost mystical (also because we weren’t sure what some of the presented things did).