Abstraction

The legend has it that once Kandinsky noticed an unusual painting – it was mysterious and full of light. He was enchanted with the colours and forms bereft of content. Eventually the painting turned out to be… his own work put upside down.

Bold

Being bold can be really effective in some situations. But if this feature is being abused, it becomes tiring, makes no more impression and even harms. The bold type is a strong visual accent and therefore we use it in the text only in particular cases.

Corbusier

Villa Savoye is a symbol of modernism – the source and base of modern architecture. The legend of the building is reflected in the educational toys – LEGO has created a brick model of the famous villa. This is how children all around the world become proportion sensitive when building the Corbusier’s villa.

Salvador Dali

“Everyone, especially in America, would like to discover the mystery of my success. I owe it to the paranoiac-critical method. I elaborated it around 30 years ago and make use of it, though I do not really know what it is all about.”

Eclecticism

Eclecticism is not just a style. It is a melting pot of styles. One of its great examples is the Statue of Liberty – which is a gift from the French people for Americans. Hardly anybody knows that tourists were able to visit the toe of the giant monument – it helped them to imagine the size of the future figure.

Fibonacci

There would be nothing marvellous about Fibonacci sequence of numbers if it didn’t surround us. It is not only present in Maths or Physics, but in the whole environment – even in the human body, architecture, art or music.

Gutenberg

This what is brilliant tends to be simple. Hardly anybody knows that in the process of print invention a wine squeezer played a key role – it became a prototype of a printing press. The values of the Renaissance wouldn’t count if it wasn’t Gutenberg’s cleverness. He disseminated them and thus created the base for reformation and modern civilization.

Helvetica

It originates from a doctrine which used to glorify modernism. The world of advertisement owes neatness, order, harmony and a new minimalistic trend to Helvetica. A font without serifs was created especially for clear and visible messages shown in urban space.

Infographic

A good chart is powerful. In the XIX century a nurse Florence Nightingale created diagrams which showed enormous losses caused by the low standard of the field hospitals. It had a huge impact and brought about the sanitary revolution. After 10 years in the regions where the reforms were introduced the death rate decreased by 70%.

Japanese woodblock prints

In its homeland it used to be art of the second category. The higher social classes didn’t consider it as worth attention. The best confirmation of the attitude towards ukiyo-e prints is the way the first prints got to Europe – the Japanese people used the off-prints to wrap exported ceramics, just as we use old newspapers nowadays.

Kahlo Frida

“I paint this what comes to my mind and I don’t analyse it anymore. I never painted my dreams. I painted my reality. I was not aware of the fact that I am a surrealist till André Breton came to Mexico and told me about it.”

Ligature

FuturachaPro, a work of Greek designers, is a magical font made of ligatures. It contains “thinking” signs which change their form depending on the order of letters which a word is made of.

Magritte

The titles of his paintings tend to be surprising. But wait… does it really mean if you call a thing with its name? Not, it doesn’t. Magritte believed that the things don’t care about their names that much – you can still look for different names to call them.

Neon

Why do modern neon lights lack their magical charm? The devil is in the detail, that is in the tubes. Nowadays colourful tubes are used, in the past – the white ones which were given its colour by an appropriately chosen gas. They used to catch one’s eye as opposed to the modern ones. The biggest neon in Warsaw consisted of a 5-kilometre neon tube!

Op-art

It is incorrectly associated with the magic of visual tricks, created for fun and not reflection. And the main goal of the creator of op-art, Victor Vasarely, was not entertainment at all. By making use of the power of illusion he wanted to show the mechanisms which rule the optics of a human-being.

Pixel

It is a magical atom of the virtual reality – an indivisible and invisible particle. The laymen notice it when they experience pixelation. In the 70., known as an eight-bit age, a small pixel was a huge challenge for the programmers. The constructors of the new reality created it pixel by pixel, just like a bricklayer constructs a building, that is brick by brick.

Renaissance

A Virtuvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci is not so perfect. According to dr Ahrafian, professor of surgery at Imperial College London, he suffers from hernia on the left side of his body, just above the groin. A theory arose according to which a man who died of this malady served as a model to the artist.

Street art

This kind of art has its value as well. Sometimes the value is bizarre – think about the price of one of the Banksy’s works which is higher than the price of the building it is painted on. The boom is on. The templates of Banksy’s works are cut from the walls and sold at auction houses for unbelievable prices.

Tschichold

He created new, still valid standards of edition especially for an English publishing house – they were called Penguin composition rules. He was the leader of a big operation of changing the design of 500 covers of this publishing house while he was living in Great Britain from 1947 till 1949.

UX

“If a particular person perceives a system as useful, it means it is so. Being engaged in designing things for people means that as a base thing we need to accept their opinion as a final criteria of usefulness.”

Van Gogh

“I can do nothing about the fact that it is not possible to sell my paintings. But there will come a day when it turns out that they are worth more than they costed and that they are something more than just the price of the paints and my miserable life.”

Warholl

On one hand he used to be a silent person, concentrated on his own thoughts. But on the other he was called a malicious manipulator. Because of such a mixture of features he was nicknamed Drella, that is a combination of the words Dracula and Cinderella.

Yellow

The first lucky one to wear the yellow jersey at Tour de France (in 1919) was Eugene Christophe, though the cyclist himself was not happy about it, because instead of cycling proudly in the leader’s shirt he had to listen to the fans who were laughing at his attire and pretending to sing like… a canary bird.

Zelek

The author used his font only once – on the poster designed for the Exhibition of Books and Technical Press. The font called New Zelek became famous and was used whatever the music genre may be: in Polish hip hop Sokół ft. Pono, hip hop and pop Black Eyed Peas, house Basement Jaxx, folk Maśniaki, disco compilation Marco and on the cover of the soundtrack of the horror film The Evil Dead.

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