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So we were going to get back to Words Matter (and we will next week) but it turns out today’s post is 200th! We wanted to celebrate this fact with special infographics and take the time to thank everyone who’s been with us on this adventure so far. It’s thanks to your involvement that we find motivation to work on the blog, even on the days when we’d rather do something else. Like sleep.

For these statistics we looked through all 199 posts so far and counted many things. Possibly the numbers might be slightly inaccurate in a few places, you’re welcome to check them. We also noticed that we haven’t yet shown you some projects we planned to show so expect a few trips down the memory lane in the future, but mostly expect a lot of new stuff and once again thanks so much for reading us.

Also, it turns out Society6 helped us with a celebratory gift: this week they offer free shipping again so you can buy our posters and other stuff cheaper if you follow this link.

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As promised, today we want to share a few wonderful books we found in Paris. We spent a lot of time in museum bookstores and, as if that wasn’t enough to run out of money, we lived near a wonderful little bookstore specializing in art books and children books. I’m sure it was put there specifically to bankrupt us and it nearly did. But our collection grew again. In the post we will show you a few more French finds of our stay.

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As usual we enlarged our collection of Petit pop-up Panoramiques, which we keep showing you every time. In addition to Paris and Louvre, which we already had, this time we found the whole of France compressed into a small book of pop-ups. This one has more painterly, delicate illustrations than other books in the series, less humorous and more fashion-like, which we find refreshing. It also has so many places we’ve yet to see.

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In Musée d’Orsay’s bookstore we found a whimsical and quite charming comic Moderne Olympia, a story of Manet’s Olympia and her ambitions to become an actress. We haven’t read the whole story yet (our French might not be enough to get all the jokes, sadly) but the most lovely idea is that the story happens among famous pictures from the museum. Various scenes and characters are recreated from the paintings but, of course, in a different context. This is the kind of illustrative and intellectual fun that we always look for in art books and only sometimes manage to find.

re-paris-02 re-paris-03 re-paris-04And if one is not quite an art history expert the code at the last page is supposed to give you a list of all the paintings used in the story (we haven’t tested that yet but it’s certainly a good idea).

re-paris-10Now, I’ll admit at first sight I overlooked Romance. But once you give this book a few minutes of your time and take care to understand its concept, it’s quite breathtaking. It’s an entirely fresh experiment in storytelling, married with gorgeous illustrations and impressive technical savoir-faire (heh).

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The story expands from chapter to chapter and invites you to participate in telling it. Illustrations, words, even typography combine to add to the history, which makes it incredibly intriguing. It’s like a fairy tale that you heard million times as a child but always managed to find something new in it.

Additionally, and this is explained by the fact that the author has a silkscreen experience, it employes a neat technical trick. All the colors are special colors instead of regular CMYK and four special colors – applied with amazing understanding of how halftone works – create the whole color scheme of the book, including all the tints. This might not seem very exciting if you don’t think about the technical side of printing much but for us it was quite awe-inspiring.

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And finally our possibly favorite new acquisition, Oh! Mon chapeau. You certainly noticed the little fact that we are suckers for pop-up books but more often than not we are disappointed to find them matched with bland illustrations and lacking in creativity. None of this applies to Chapeau. It’s as creative as books get, with a wonderful understanding of what pop-ups can add to the story (for instance, it uses very well the simple fact that something can hide behind a pop-up). The illustrations (as, if fact, the whole technical part of the book) are deceptively simple but it’s rare to see simplicity matched with such charm and lightness. Many illustrators try to achieve it as it is, clearly, a trend of today but few manage in such a seemingly effortless way.

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In addition to the lovely Mondrianesque color scheme, the book has a difficult to define Parisian feel. Instant love.

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Aaand we’re back. As was obvious from the illustrations, we spent this year’s holiday in Paris (again), where we had a great time (again). We also bought a few books we will want to share with you but first, as promised before our leave, we want to share a few unique finds from Warsaw Book Fair. Because many of the books we bought tempted us with their canine heroes, we decided to make them the theme of today’s post.

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This one by Beatrice Rodriguez is called The Chicken Thief and it is created completely without words. In fact, the only way the title appears is on an additional sleeve, so that the book can remain word-free. It’s an exciting picaresque about a kidnapping and a chase, including themes of friendship and forbidden love. The level of wordless storytelling is truly impressive and the author makes great use of the panoramic size of the book, which gives illustrations their unique character and structure.

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Chien Fou is another little gem about perseverance and the rewards of hope. It’s also about a little dog that runs a lot. The illustrations are guaranteed to make you a little sad and then quite happy. Also, do notice the lovely colors and masterful page compositions.

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Attention, voila Grand loup! is a simpler books for smaller children but it makes a great use of paper flaps where small animals hide from the big wolf (unnecessarily, it will turn out in an optimistic ending). Also, even though the illustrations are clearly much simpler, they manage not to be bland and boring. We enjoyed discovering who’s hiding behind the curtain or in the closet quite a lot and I’m sure for a small kid it must be quite an adventure.

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Finally, Le Petit Loup Rouge is a book we first saw online a while ago and we didn’t even know if it was actually published. We loved it back then and we loved it even more when we saw it in all its paper glory. It’s a marvelously illustrated tale in the best tradition of surrealist fairy-telling. It also has gorgeous typography and lovely atmosphere. There’s nothing not to adore about this one.

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In case it made you wonder, most of these books happen to be in French because French literature was the theme of this year’s Fair. We bought books in English and in Polish too, they just didn’t happen to be about foxes, wolves or dogs: but we will share at least some of those at some later time. At any rate, for a moment we could’ve fooled ourselves that having already bought books in French we won’t need to buy them in Paris so maybe for once we’ll come back with not too heavy a bag but, of course, we were so, so wrong, as you will see next week.

redesign-easter-15-ENHave a wonderful time this Easter, spend it with your friends and family
and maybe play a board game or two.

And traditionally next week we’ll share a bit of making-of story for this year’s card.

re-shop-friendsAnd a slight update: Easter is not necessarily a time for gifts but if you want to test that tradition, Society6 offers free shipping this week if you follow this link.

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We have a series of covers to show you but first come two thematic posts on the occasion of St. Valentine’s Day. This week’s poster is a design for Experyment Science Center, which, while normally mostly focused on activities for children, for Valentine’s prepared an evening for adults. We looked for a way to combine science and love in a not-overly-serious way that would also be consistent with the other posters for children’s events that we design.

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Also, stay tuned for our next Saint Valentine’s Day post next week.

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The slight delay in posting is not so much due to end-of-year festivities as to the time-consuming nature of the project we’re presenting today.

2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Friends and the 10th anniversary of the last one. And yesterday all 10 seasons of the show became available on Netflix (we hear). To celebrate all these momentous occasions we have created a poster with an icon for each of the 236 episodes of Friends. That’s a lot of icons.

poster_friends_wizBut Friends were with us when we were kids and they repeated every episode over and over and we still found them funny, and then we were no longer kids and still re-watched an episode here and there and still found them funny. It was before we got fed up with sitcoms; we loved the characters (well, most of them) and even how they gradually changed: from the crazy 80s hair to their stylish(er) looks and grown-up relationships. We were there for the iconic moments: “We were on a break,” “smelly cat,” “holiday armadillo” all meant something to us. And, you’re very free to disagree, but we always loved Monica and Chandler together.

During the research for this poster we re-watched a lot of bits of the show again and sure, it grows old, but it grows old with surprising grace.

So this is our tribute to Friends. If you like it, you may even buy it here or here. The icons are fairly small in this full version (we particularly don’t recommend buying mini sizes, we just can’t turn them off) so keep reading to see ten additional posters, one for each seasons (with links to buy them).

May the New Year be wonderful for you, full of wacky, hilarious, supportive friends and other good things!

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And here are 10 posters for 10 seasons, as promised.

friends-20-redesign-season01Season 1: The One Where They Get a Monkey, a Fussball Table and Rachel (buy here).

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Season 2: The One Where Joey Moves Out and Back In (buy here).

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Season 3: The One with All the Drama with Ross and Rachel (buy here).

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Season 4: The One That Ends in London (buy here).

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Season 5: The One with Monica and Chandler’s Secret (buy here).

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Season 6: The One Where Monica and Chandler Get Engaged (buy here).

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Season 7: The One Where Monica and Chandler Get Married (buy here).

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Season 8: The One with Rachel’s Pregnancy (buy here).

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Season 9: The One Largely about Babies (buy here).

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Season 10: The Last One Where They All Become Adults (Except for Joey) (buy here; all posters can also be bought here).

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6th of December is celebrated in Poland as Santa’s day (called Mikołajki): children get small presents and the countdown to Christmas really begins. Usually it also means various fun activities for children in school and outside of it. Experyment science center organized activities for children with Santa’s workshop as a theme and we were asked to create illustrations. Santa’s sleigh was suggested and we added elves working on the sleigh to make it more scientifically advanced.

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Since the activities included artistic tasks, the sleigh had to be filled with art supplies. We chose more or less Christmassy colors. Altogether Santa’s elves and science proved a fun mix to work on.

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