small, Print Control No. 6: The Best Printed Matter from Poland 2017, ppackshot_prev-2673okladka.jpg, Print Control no. 6 cover, 2017, photo: organiser's press materials
Print Control is an annually published yearbook which showcases the best polish graphic designs of the previous year. The first edition came out in 2011. The sixth edition presents numerous examples of posters, publications, visual identification from 2017, as well as interviews with leading Polish designers.
1. Hans Memling, promotional poster for The Last Judgment
The National Museum in Gdańsk holds a true gem in its collection – Hans Memling’s The Last Judgment. In 2017, it organised a contest for the official promotional poster for the painting. Among the selected works were posters by Nikodem Pręgowski. The designer used the medieval painting to comment on contemporary phenomena. He moved Memling’s figures onto a beach, densely filled with people’s windscreens – a frequently-mocked scenery in Polish culture. As it turns out Memling’s characters fared surprisingly well in such surroundings.
2. The Things of Warsaw, posters promoting the Grand Re-opening of the Museum of Warsaw
When in the spring of 2017 the Museum of Warsaw re-opened its doors after major refurbishments, the curators of the new exhibition were clear: they wanted to ‘tell history through objects. Museum’s collection is truly its biggest asset. It includes numerous every-day objects’. To put it simply, they wanted to present the Things of Warsaw. At first glance, these objects may seem commonplace, but the curators present them as important witnesses of Warsaw's history. Their posters play with this concept. Using photographs taken by Jacek Kołodziejski, the posters shows these seemingly banal objects as part of mysterious scenes.
3. Design Dialogue, a poster promoting the history of Polish design
In 2017, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Culture.pl commissioned five Brazilian and five Polish artists to create posters promoting the history of design in both countries. Robert Czajka, for instance, featured the word ‘Poland’ in his work – and he hid some Polish nuggets in each letter.
4. Ruins of Warsaw, published by Raster Editions
This is already the fifth volume of Raster’s series Warsaw. Each part of this elegant publication focuses on a different aspect of Warsaw’s history. Previous books in the series have shown literary Warsaw, Warsaw’s innovative architecture of the interwar period, the history of capital’s controversial Palace of Culture and Science, as well as the most intriguing buildings of the 1960s.
This time, Raster took on the ruins of Warsaw. From the destruction of World War I, through the devastation of World War II, all the way to contemporary demolitions, the book follows the history of Warsaw's ruins. Both renowned and lesser-known photographers contributed to the project. Their beautifully printed photos are accompanied by texts on history, culture and photography itself. Just as the previous books from the series, it is deliciously designed by Michał Kaczyński.
This free magazine about cultural events has been published since 2002. Throughout the years, it came to be known to nearly every Warsaw resident (it also comes out in several other Polish cities).
In 2017, Kaja Kusztra redesigned the magazine's layout. While the new Aktivist is equally informative, with many cultural reviews inside, it has a new touch to it. The fresh layout elevated it to a status of a trend book, not just a list of previews.
6. Daję słowo. Wędrówki Po Języku I Literaturze
Grzegorz Leszczyński, Agata Dudek and Małgorzata Nowak (both from Acapulco Studio) created a book which explains words through illustrations. Daję Słowo. Wędrówki Po Języku I Literaturze (editor’s translation: I Give You My Word: Wandering Through Language And Literature) is meant as a lexicon for children, helping them decipher difficult Polish words and expressions. Here, text and illustrations are equally important and, alongside a colourful layout, they make for a passionate story on the complexities of the Polish language.
7. Theatre under Construction: Travelogue
Idalia Smyczyńska, Paweł Sarzyński and Robert Zając (of kilku.com) designed this beautiful publication – an unusual record of the process of the creation of a theatre. This massive – yet simple in form – book features two main characters: the architect Bolesław Stelmach and the building of the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin.
The building in question was named the ‘Theatre under Construction’ as it was built on the foundation of another theatre building the construction of which had not been completed over the last 40 years. It is a unique journal, which contains both descriptions of architectural details as well as the architect’s reflections and musings. It was awarded in the prestigious 50 Books | 50 Covers competition in 2017.
8. U-jazdowski rebranding
The Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art underwent a major rebranding in 2017, which caused quite a stir among both design and art enthusiasts. Deemed as controversial, the rebranding process fueled discussions not only among design experts. After all, it is not often that a major, well-established art institution changes its visual identification. The brand transition from CSW into U-jazdowski was designed by the duo of Marian Misiak and Tomasz Bersz.
As consumer awareness continues to grow, we are seeing more and more local, craft, healthy, bio and fair trade products. Unlike ‘old' brands, new manufacturers are more keen on developing their brand's identities – taking it much further than merely packaging design.
Łobzowska Studio designed the visual identification for Endorfina chocolate (manufactured by the Poland-based Oliwki etc.). Aside from the packaging, the studio is responsible for the brand’s entire image, including its name and logotype.
10. TEDx Katowice
TEDx conferences are based on the concept of the international TED conferences, where speakers, in a concise, dynamic and attractive manner, present their ideas, innovative projects and revolutionary initiatives that are supposed to make the world a better place.
The Katowice spin-off of this popular event was accompanied by a set of gadgets. Muflon Studio designed all of the TEDx’s materials, notepads, pencils and programmes. Their designs matched the futuristic-looking stage and embodied conference’s ideals with their vibrant and colourful layouts.
Originally written in Polish, March 2018, translated by MS