Zupagrafika is a Spanish-Polish graphic studio based in Poznań. Their portfolio encompasses visual identities and exhibition designs, as well as urban installations. However, their most famous work is 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 and book designs, as well as whole visual identities. Their clients include renowned institutions as Stary Browar, the Malta Festival, and even the Chancellery of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, for which they designed a cut-out with the characteristic, round building of the Sejm.
One of their most recognisable projects is their series of DIY buildings, which ensured them a prestigious award MustHave at Design Festival in Łódź in 2014. Their Blokoshka reproduced 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 blocks of flats, 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 advertisement 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 Norman Foster himself. 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 brutalist architecture 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, the Pamiętać o Dziełach Utraconych competition [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 the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, designing a series of merchandise based on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet which includes various notebooks, cut-outs, pencils, and stamps available in Polin's giftshop.
Among many local projects connected with Poznań, besides the aforementioned modernist buildings cut-outs, is the visual identity for ForForm gallery, based on an optical illusion of interfusing morphemes. What’s more, they proposed decorating blocks of flats on a Poznań estate with designs inspired by the original mosaics with which they were odorned.