Zupagrafika is a Spanish-Polish graphic studio based in Poznań. Their portfolio encompasses visual identities, exhibition space designs, as well as urban installations. However, their most famous work has to be a series of paper cut-outs based on modernist architecture and iconic works of Polish design.
Zupagrafika was founded in Poznań in 2012, by David Navarro and Martyna Sobecka. The Spanish graphic designer, fascinated by the Polish Poster School, settled in Poland and, after having met Sobecka, they together started creating poster designs, book designs, as well as whole visual identities. Among their clients one might find such renowned institutions as Stary Browar, Malta Festival, and even Chancellery of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, for which they designed a cut-out with the characteristic, round building of Sejm.
One of their most recognisable projects is the series of DIY buildings. That creation ensured them a prestigious award MustHave at Design Festival in Łódź in 2014. Their Blokoshka reprised this success. It’s a collection of four models of blocks of flats, inspired by housing developments from Poland, Moscow, East Berlin, and Prague. What’s more, you can put one in the other, kind of like traditional Russian matrioshkas. Navarro is absolutely taken by Polish block of flats estates, commenting:
These are the things that get engraved into my memory when I visit Poland, not these pretty Old Towns or Old Markets. Blocks of flats, as well as the funny ticket-puncher from Mielec and ad posts are iconic to your country.
Brutal London, their collection of cut-outs, became a basis for the book of the same title, which was preceded by an introduction by the very Norman Foster. The publication conjoins short essays about 9 selected buildings with the cut-outs that are to resemble them after being assembled from pieces.
The topic of the architecture of brutality was once again taken up in the project Paris Brut. This time, the designers selected 6 projects which, according to them, envision the unrealised modernist dreams for the French capital, from La Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, to Cité des 4000.
In 2015 they took part, and consequently won, a competition Pamiętać o dziełach utraconych [trans. Remembering lost masterpieces], which aimed at commemorating works of art that were stolen from Poland during WWII. Zupografika proposed a set of miniatures that you discover by yourself by removing strips of foil, thus revealing the titles and authors of various works of art.
They also worked with Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin. For them they designed a series of merchandise based on the letters of Hebrew alphabet. Thus, in Polin stores you could see various notebooks, cut-outs, pencils, and stamps.
Among many local projects connected with Poznań, besides the aforementioned modernist buildings cut-outs, is the visual identity for ForForm gallery, based on the optical illusion of interfusing morphemes. What’s more, they proposed marking blocks of flats on the Poznań estate inspired by the original mosaics that they were decorated with.