Graphic designer born in Zgierz, most willingly working for cultural institutions. Apart from creating posters, leaflets and logotypes, she teaches at several European universities.
Paulina Matusiak was born in 1971 in Zgierz. After graduating from the Fine Arts High School in Łódź, she went to study in the Netherlands – in 1995 she received her diploma from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten). As an outstanding student, she was offered a job at the Matzwart design studio just after graduation. Later she worked for several well-known graphic studios: for two years she was the main designer at OIBIBIO and from 1999 to 2002 she was part of the team of the well-known Studio Anthon Beeke in Amsterdam. She admits that working in the latter studio taught her a lot and gave her the courage to establish her own studio in the Dutch capital.
In 2002, Studio Matusiak was established in Amsterdam. It works in the field of artistic management, creating graphic and interactive projects, visual identities, websites, book covers and albums, posters, leaflets, as well as photographs and illustrations. ‘A poster, small card, letterhead or sticker, I treat them all as small works of art’, says Paulina Matusiak, stressing that what she values in design and what attracts her most is not the scale or scope of the project, but openness and the possibility of crossing borders. One of Matusiak's newer activities – designing cement tiles – can be regarded as a kind of going outside of her box. The series titled KILIM was created for the Poland-based Purpura Manufactory.
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Paulina Matusiak is most interested in designing for cultural institutions and festivals, especially those connected with theatre, dance and music. She develops poster and leaflet concepts for them. As she herself admits, her work on a project for the theatre or opera does not consist of drawing a vision of the poster alone. In order to fully convey the emotions that the performance is supposed to evoke, the creator has to learn not only the content of the drama, but also the concept of the director, the way the actors play, the set design, the costumes. Only when she herself ‘bites’ into the atmosphere of the play can she propose an image, which conveys a message to the audience.
In posters and leaflets she likes to use photography, which she processes and supplements with drawings, signs and text. Although her works are considered recognisable, Matusiak herself says:
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I don't have my own style. The style is created by the project I am working on.
That is why some of her works are flashy and expressive, other subdued or minimalistic. According to the artist, the posters or leaflets are supposed to reflect the mood of the project they promote. ‘Whether the project is an artistic event or a commercial event, it must touch, challenge you and make you think’ – Paulina Matusiak formulates the goal of her works.
Apart from her design work, Matusiak has experience as a lecturer. She has lectured at design faculties at several European universities, including ArtEZ Academie voor Art & Design in Zwolle and Enschede, Academie voor Beeldende Vorming in Tilburg, School of Form in Poland (until recently, the university was located in Poznań and has been operating in Warsaw since 2020). She is also often invited as a guest lecturer, giving lectures in design schools in Spain, Israel and China. Her works have been presented and awarded many times at exhibitions and reviews of posters or graphic designs; Matusiak herself was also part of juries in many competitions. She was also the curator of the exhibition representing Poland during London Design Week 2017.
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