Honesty and lack of coquetry are the main principles in Anna Niemierko’s work. Despite being far from infantile, her illustrations for children’s books are full of childhood fantasy. All her designs, be they logos, books or postage stamps, are marked by her vivid temperament.
Niemierko studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under the supervision of Maciej Buszewicz and Grażka Lange. She graduated from the Book Design studio at the Faculty of Graphic Arts. The artist had the opportunity to work with some of the most famous Polish publishers: the Jacek Santorski & Co. Publishing Agency, the School Publishers PWN and the School and Pedagogical Publishing House. She completed several projects for the Wytwórnia Publishing House: Ilustrowany elementarz dizajnu (Illustrated Primer Design) laid out in aquamarine contrasting with the black and white letters, the minimalist Kłopot (Trouble) or Co tu jest grane? (What Is Playing Here?). However, one of the most significant projects for this publisher, as Niemierko admits, was the design for Tuwim’s poems. This collective venture in which she participated with seven other young illustrators was awarded at the festival in Bologna. Thanks to Niemierko, the cult Trąbalski elephant or the late Nightingale acquired new shapes. Furthermore, the artist contributed to the final layout of the book: the combination of fragments of text and bold colours gave it an air of poetic prowess.
Niemierko’s portfolio also includes postage stamps. Her work depicting a bison in a forest was awarded the most prestigious philatelic prize in 2011. Playing with the silhouette of this almost symbolic Polish animal, she simplified its shape, lending minimalist character to the whole. The use of special perfumed varnish made the stamp smell of juniper, thus broadening the impact on the viewer and creating a new level of perception. Niemierko admits:
The design of stamps is a very nice, pleasant and meticulous activity, though not as simple as it seems. Everything is tiny, every millimeter matters (...) It’s a kind of a test for the designer.
Niemierko’s works are characterised by the bold play with patterns, as well as the combination of few colours. The illustrator highlights:
Honesty is the most important thing in illustration. Actually it is crucial to everything, it concerns the entire design process.
Author: Agata Morka, transl. Bozhana Nikolova, April 2015
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