Agata Szydłowska

Patriots or hipsters? New local in Polish graphic design.

TYPO Berlin 2013 Touch | Saturday, 18 May | 11:00 am | Stage | English

Young Polish designers are more and more often resigning from technical perfection, concentrating on what is flawed and often embarrassing in our visual culture. Traditions of Polish poster design and illustration are coming back into favor, and inspiration derived from visual culture connected with the Communist era in Poland has already become a commonly used graphic idiom. It is necessary to add to this a fascination with local typography and the surprising renaissance of interest in typefaces native to Poland. If we add to this interest in local culture the common hipster fascination with anything that is trashy and cheap – and the Polish version of local culture is trashy and cheap – its incarnation in the design practices of young designers can be treated as another international trend. At the same time, the peripheral position of Poland between the East and the West leads Poles to constantly seek and redefine their own identity – either “in opposition” or “in reference” to something else. A new locality seems to be a compromise between a search for one’s own unique identification and characteristics, and the perpetual tendency to define oneself in relation to the beloved and mythical West, which this time has come to our aid and has made local culture fashionable. In this presentation, works by the youngest generation of Polish graphic designers will be presented, and there will be an attempt to critically interpret this fascination with the new locality.


Agata Szydłowska

Agata Szydłowska is a design critic and curator based in Warsaw, Poland. In her work she focuses on social and political dimensions of design exploring not only established design production, but also the vernacular and the quotidian. She is a member of the editorial board of Polish design quarterly "2+3D".…

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