About

  • A graphic symbol is one of the basic elements of visual communication. Abstract symbols, artistic metaphors and graphic abbreviations are like the syllables or letters of a graphic language system in which, as if through a lens, the history of a given society or country is reflected. Since the end of the 1960s, there has been no exhibition or publication in Poland which has attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of graphic symbols and visual identification.
  • The exhibition will present Polish logos and visual communication systems. The exhibition will revisit iconic designs from the years 1945-1969, enable people to become more acquainted with the history of Polish applied graphic art, and provide a close view of the accomplishments of design doyens and their newest works.
  • The first part of the exhibition will be a reconstruction of the legendary First Polish Exhibition of Graphic Symbols in 1969, at which 335 designs were exhibited in the Association of Polish Artists and Designers in Warsaw – including logos for Pekao, Moda Polska, CPN, Unitra, the "Telimena" shopping mall, as well as other logos which are now iconic by such artists as: Ryszard Bojar, Roman Duszek, Jan Hollender, Emilia Nożko-Paprocka, Karol Śliwka and Leon Urbański. Making reference to this event, the second part of the exhibition will present 335 of the most recent logos created during the years 2000–2015. The works were selected from among 3,000 submissions by the exhibition’s commissioners, Patryk Hardziej and Rene Wawrzkiewicz, as well as a board of consultants comprised of Ryszard Bojar, Marta Gawin, Viktoriya Grabowska, Michał Łojewski, Katarzyna Roj and Kuba Sowiński.

The photographs are from the historic First Polish Exhibition of Graphic Symbols. Warsaw, May 1969. Photo: CAF, J. Muszyński

History

  • In the spring of 1969, the First Polish Exhibition of Graphic Symbols was held in Warsaw. It was organized by the Association of Polish Artists and Designers and the Ministry of Art and Culture. Polish logos and trademark symbols created in the years 1945–1969 were exhibited at the Visual Arts Centre on Mazowiecka Street. The qualification jury led by Stefan Bernaciński selected 335 works which best represented the design achievements of those times. Poland’s best graphic designers took part in the exhibition, including Ryszard Bojar, Jerzy Cherka, Roman Duszek, Jan Hollender, Jarosław Jasiński, Emilia Nożko-Paprocka, Karol Śliwka, Leon Urbański, Tytus Walczak, Franciszek Winiarski and many others. A large number of logos have stood the test of time, and some are still used today.
  • Since then, a comprehensive overview of the current state of this branch of design has not been undertaken. A lot has been written about Polish posters, but little is still known about Polish graphic symbols. For this reason, the Second Polish Exhibition of Graphic Symbols will present both designs exhibited over 50 years ago in Warsaw and recent works by today’s generation of graphic artists and designers.

Idea

  • An introduction to the history of Polish graphic symbols as well as the presentation of renowned designers,
  • a critical look at the specific characteristics of Polish graphic symbol design,
  • an analysis of the various aspects of the form and function of a graphic symbol,
  • consolidation of the design community in terms of different generations as well as diversity in the field,
  • increasing people’s familiarity with observations by authorities in this field (designers, lecturers, patent representatives, design historians),
  • an analysis of the development of the various branches of design within the context of historical, economic and social changes,
  • the building of a design identity,
  • the cataloguing of designs,
  • the creation of an event enabling Polish design achievements to be presented outside of the country,
  • an exchange of observations and opinions with people from outside of the design community (for example: client – designer, sender – receiver).

AT THE EXHIBITION WE WILL PRESENT:

Biuro Organizacji Targów Centralnego Związku Spółdzielczości Pracy

Tadeusz Jodłowski, 1967

Centrala Handlu Zagranicznego Petrolimpex

Karol Śliwka, 1967

Centrala Produktów Naftowych

Ryszard Bojar, Jerzy Słowikowski i Stefan Solik, 1967

Centrala Spółdzielni Ogrodniczych Ogród

Eugeniusz Zduniewski, 1947

Dom Mody Telimena

Witold Surowiecki, 1967

Fundusz Rozwoju Twórczości Plastycznej

Waldemar Andrzejewski

Dwa Brzegi

Zuzanna Rogatty, 2015

PKN Orlen

Henryk Chyliński, 2000

American Film Festival

Joanna Górska i Jerzy Skakun, 2010

Projekt Roku

Ula Krzyżak, 2011

Bliscy Nieznajomi

Wojciech Janicki, 2007

Pan Tu Nie Stał

Piotr Ciesielski, 2012

LIST OF PEOPLE WHO COLLABORATED ON THE EXHIBITION

Exhibition commissioners: Patryk Hardziej, Rene Wawrzkiewicz.

Board of consultants: Ryszard Bojar, Marta Gawin, Viktoriya Grabowska, Michał Łojewski, Katarzyna Roj, Kuba Sowiński i Marcin Wolny.

Cooperation in creating the exhibition: Tomasz Chądzyński, Piotr Chuchla, Ewa Chudecka, Aleksander Drożdżewski, Artur Jewuła, Tomasz Jurecki, Ksawery Kirklewski, Marta Kowalska, Adam Nowiński, Marianna Paszkowska, Patrycja Podkościelny, Marta Sarnowska, Szymon Sawicki, Jagoda Sosińska, Kaja Stępkowska, Piotr Śliżewski, Nikola Trojnar, Julek Wierzchowski, Zuzanna Zamorska.

Logo: Karol Śliwka