Haunting Posters

Enter the 2018 Regional Design Annual today for a chance to be featured among the country’s best design work. Our judges: Sagi Haviv, Rebeca Méndez, Nancy Skolos, Alexander Isley, Chad Michael, Gail Anderson and Justin Peters.


I savor everything about the Klimowski Poster Book by Andrzej Klimowski and Foreword by David Crowley (SelfMadeHero, London and Abrams, New York). Of course, I admire the freedom of poster conception, particularly the reinterpretations of mid-1970 (and after) American films, such as The Godfather, Nashville, Taxi Driver and Stranger Than Paradise, among many others.

Klimowski was a product of the Polish poster art tradition yet established his own methods and collagist madness. Although born in England, Klimowski lived and worked in Warsaw for seven years as a designer for the state film distributor. As Crowley states in his interview, film was “one of a number of surprisingly free zones of artistic expression in the People’s Republic of Poland.”

One explanation Crowley gives for Klimowski’s unconventional design of imported films is that Polish designers had little access to publicity materials. Also, with theater and film promotion, the posters had to be printed long before the premieres. The designers had little to go on but some plot notes, script or libretto. “In such circumstances, poster design was, necessarily, an act of fantasy and improvisation.” This monograph examines that improvisation through a generous range of material. The SelfMadeHero edition is printed on the kind of lightweight (cheap?) paper that the original posters might have used. The Abrams edition is a little less raw, but no less exciting it terms of introducing us to a designer whose work, for the most part, is new to me yet familiar too.


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