Jan Sawka Artist Catalog
This is an artist’s catalog that displays the works of Polish poster artist, Jan Sawka. He was kicked out of communist Poland for the anti-communist messages in his work which exhibited an in-your-face, surrealist style. The goal of this catalog was to display Sawka’s work in a way that mirrored its tendencies without overshadowing the pieces themselves.
I had the opportunity to visit Drexel University’s polish poster collection to see and photograph several of Sawka’s work in person. It was mindblowing, the intricacy and skill that is displayed in each piece. His style is consistent but with endless variety. He was extremely prolific and could seemingly have kept creating forever.
Despite the clear visual system, the theme for these layouts was organized chaos. The quotes are choppy, thrown about, and cut off to emulate the feelings in Sawka's work. The main body of the text is turned to the side, flowing through the book towards the next piece. The fact you have to turn the book and put effort into enjoying it causes you to interact with it in a unique and engaging way. The title of the catalog is in a sketchy hand-written type that emulates Sawka’s own handwriting (displayed on pages 5 & 6.) It also points to the fun fact that he had a tendency to sign his work in random and disruptive spots. There is no consistent placement for the work in this book; some take up a full-page, some are scattered on the page, some are enlarged for detailed views and some are turned on their side.
Anchor the Content
This catalogue has a color-coded icon system to show whether the work is a painting, a poster, an illustration, or a biography. The pull-out quotes scattereted throughout are also color-coded to match the icon on its page. The quotes and headers for the work are in a 70s-style typeface to encapsulate the era these works are from.