• PrintMag

The End of A Poster Era

It is sad to report the passing of designers, especially those who have contributed unique form and content to the graphic design language. Last week, the Krakow-born Franciszek Starowieyski (1930 -2009), one of the masters of the great postwar Polish poster “school,” died. He was 79. [Update: corrected, thanks design diva!] His macabre style typified the Polish tradition, which wed expert draftsmanship to Symbolist and Surrealist aesthetics. His imagery was an oasis of dark and light; his vision–harsh at times–was tempered by wit and humor. Whether American illustrators knew it or not, his approach had a huge impact on editorial illustration of the 1980s and ’90s. I for one, had a copy of Frank V (1962) (above) hanging on my wall for years. Look here for a gallery of his work. And books of Starowieyski’s posters are available here.