The End of A Poster Era

Posted inPrint Design Articles

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.