“I’m in heaven” is the best way to express the feeling that this graphic design “historian” experienced when he opened a lost and found, never-before-seen collection of vintage graphic design. That is the case with Against All Odds: Polish Graphic Design 1919-1949 by Piotr Rypson, who writes about a critical period in Polish (and Eastern European) design.
This 408 page volume is an overflowing treasure-trove of graphic work prior to the 50s-60s golden age of postwar Polish posters. The magazines, logos, letterheads, bill heads, posters, books and covers – the avant garde and commercial styles – of the 20s through 40s, is a grand collection of typographic and imagistic artifacts. Arranged by micro themes – like a section on invoices – the vast array of ephemera is seen in a decidedly functional context.
Known, lesser known and unknown graphic designers are given their respective places in the Polish design firmament. And what’s very satisfying is that the book is published by Karakter in separate Polish and English editions. Get more information here.