Part of the generation of designers born in 1989, he specializes in poster and book design, as well as illustration. Having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2013, he is now among the members of the Polish Association of Applied Graphic Designers (STGU), and one of the illustrators represented by the Marlena Agency.
Jan Bajtlik, born in 1989, specializes in poster and book design, as well as illustration.
Many of Bajtlik’s projects represent a highly critical point of view and act as social campaigns in public space. He has been involved in creation of projects such as Społecznicy Warszawscy / Warsaw's Social Workers, Weź się do Kupy / Keep Your Crap Together, and Wiosna Ludów / Spring of Nations.
Warsaw's Social Workers (2011) was created in collaboration with Stocznia / Shipyard – The Unit for Social Innovation and Research. The purpose of the campaign was to bend the ideas about archetypical inhabitants of Warsaw – the organization thus chose a selection of quotes by significant figures from the pre-war period, that would capture the eye of the modern audience and fulfill the concept. The design employed by Bajtlik exposed the quotes on yellow background as if they were slogans dedicated to the city, at the same time including an outline of each person, in order to highlight the historical and personal significance of the words.
Keep Your Crap Together and Spring of Nations (both 2011) were, on the other hand, series conceived by the artist from the very beginning, as well as distributed by him around the streets of Warsaw. The former, made together with his friend Konrad Trzeszkowski, was a springtime project that intended to agitate the city's pet owners to remember to clean their dogs’ dung year-round. For Spring of Nations, Bajtlik designed a sign that acted as his own comment to civil-disobedience movements.
Bajtlik’s style is marked by minimalism and hand-drawn symbols – whether he draws figures or letters, they immediately attract one’s attention and constitute the main message in the design – sometimes haunting, at other times funny. One could associate the effortlessness and intimacy of form and content with the great names deriving from the Polish poster school, such as Jan Młodożeniec and Lech Majewski (the latter was a teacher of Bajtlik). However, despite listing this famed phenomenon as an important trigger that made him purse the career of graphic designer, he refrains from feeding on this tradition. He claims:
To me, the Polish school of poster is a generation of artists, one of the chapters in art history. The humour, wit and salient message that is typical for the Polish school still appears in contemporary designs, in an altered form.
When applying hand-drawn, painterly forms I don't want to make a direct reference to that period. My posters tend to manifest a bitter irony, a kind of hilarity, they are sketch-like and lapidary in form. Nevertheless, street art has been a more important inspiration for me – it communicates the concise messages by means of mediums such as stencil, stickers, or 'imperfect' screen-prints. [...] I try to pay a lot of attention to the genuine and most basic form of poster, i.e. a print distributed in the cityscape, which shouts at the viewer. It's a street-art activity. My intention is to pierce through and overcome the aggressive billboards, large-scale advertisements, shop signboards and miniature notices.
Bajtlik has also been involved in creating book illustrations – he wrote stories for two publications, which he also illustrated: Europa Pingwina Popo / Popo the Penguin’s Europe (2011) and Sztuka Latania / The Art of Flying (2012). As in the case of his posters, he skilfully combines typography with drawing in these publications.
association of applied graphic designers
europa pingwina popo
wez sie do kupy
He has also designed and illustrated books such as: Wojtek Spod Monte Cassino / Wojtek from under Monte Cassino (2012) Tańcowały Dwa Michały / They Danced Two Michały (2012), Auto / The Car (2013) and Illustrowany Elementarz Dizajnu / The Illustrated ABC of Design (2013).
He was among the winners in 2013 of the Design 28 competition for graduating students of various design-related disciplines at art schools nationwide. His final project at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art consisted of a series of posters, Bądź Człowiekiem, Czytaj! / Be Human, Read!, which aims to enhance readership and an educational, interactive book for children. The book is currently being prepared for publication, and we will also soon be likely to see the most recent posters on Polish city streets.
Be Human, Read!
Polish Poster Gallery, University of Warsaw Library (BUW)
Jan Bajtlik Poster Exhibition
Kuwasawa Design School, Tokyo
Illustrative Polish Illustration Focus - Where I Come From, Berlin, 2013
Design 28 – The Best Design Diplomas of the Academy of Fine, Katowice, 2013
International Poster Triennal in Toyama, 2012
Warsaw International Poster Biennale, 2012
12th International Poster Biennial of Mexico, 2012
21st Chaumont Poster Festival International Competition 2010
No more Fukushima, Tokyo, 2011
Awards and Honourable Mentions
- Design 28 - Diploma Project Award
- Silver medal at the International Poster Triennal in Toyama
- Honourable Mention at 12th International Poster Biennial of Mexico
- 2nd Prize in the Warsaw Print Museum’s competition for a Biblical Illustration
- 1st Prize in the AMS competition Miłość Nie Cukierki for Dom (Home)
- 1st Prize in the HIV/AIDS International Student Poster Competition, Skopje
- Honourable Mention for the book Europa Pingwina Popo in the Polish edition of IBBY competition for Book of the Year
- 1st Prize in the End of Year Exhibition competition, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
- Nomination for the STGU competition Project of the Year
- 1st Prize in the Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts competition for the poster for Akademia Otwarta (Open Academy)
- 1st Prize following the Poster workshop about September 11 (Le Mois du graphisme d’Echirolles)
- Honourable Mention in the AMS competition Skłodowska Była Kobietą! (Skłodowska Was a Woman!)
- Honourable Mention in the Be Ecologic International Student Poster Competition, Skopje
- Honourable Mention at East + West Poster Biennal in Wuhan, China
- Honourable Mention in the STGU competition for the Sinfonia Varsovia Centre’s logo
- 1st Prize in the Power vs. Poverty International Student Poster Competition, Skopje
- Honourable Mention in the Best Design of a Children’s Book competition for Sztuka Latania, Katowice
Author: Anna Micińska, 13.08.2013