Patryk Hardziej (PL)
Polish graphic symbols
M.A. project
Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk
Adam Kamiński
Patryk Hardziej’s book is more than a well-designed publication. The designer has tackled a remarkably important task: a survey of part of the history of Polish graphic design. Apart from the poster, Polish post-war graphic art has practically remained undescribed; the symbols themselves covered in this book could be previously found only in isolated texts in old issues of Projekty magazine. The core of the book is a selection of fifty graphic symbols created from 1946–1996 by fifty different designers. These include familiar names, such as Roman Duszek, Leon Urbański, and Karol Śliwka, and lesser-known ones, such as Emilia Nożko-Paprocka, Tytus Walczak, and Franciszek Winiarski. The publication includes interviews Patryk Hardziej held with three masters – Ryszard Bojar, Roman Duszek, and Karol Śliwka. The whole has been translated into English. The end of the book features short biographical notes on the designers, of fifty characters apiece. The book has a very spare design, a logical and consistent structure to the contents, and all the graphic devices are selected so as not to overshadow the rightful “protagonists” – the symbols themselves. The designer has not polished the damage resulting from the phototypesetting reproduction from the symbols, with the notion that, in formal terms, the book will allude to the technological solutions of the People’s Republic era. All that remains is for us to wish the designer publishing and market success.