Polish Cold War Neon

Photographer Ilona Karwinska’s new book Polish Cold War Neon documents what remains of a once extravagant plan to ‘neonize’ the entire country during the 1960s, 70s and 80s…

Photographer Ilona Karwinska ‘s new book Polish Cold War Neon (Mark Batty Publisher, £35) gathers together photographs taken over more than five years all over Poland, documenting what remains of a once extravagant plan to neonize the entire country during the 1960s, 70s and 80s…

The book features an excellent introduction by David Crowley who, regular readers may recall, wrote a feature on Karwinska’s neon photography project for our September 2007 issue (we’ve unlocked it for a few days only so non subscribers can read that piece here). Here’s an extract from the book’s introduction:

“The neon signs installed in Polish cities in the 1960s and 1970s were part of the international attempts to reconcile socialism and consumerism. Conferences in Czechoslovakia in 1957 and in the Soviet Union in 1958 set out to define a new kind of progressive advertising that would raise the tastes of consumers and rationalise their needs. Neon was given a key role in this new program. Illuminated images and words could denote a useful commodity or service (‘Save with PKO for your apartment’ or ‘Sewing Machines Here’). Permanent, fixed to buildings, and bespoke, neon was even claimed as a tool for navigating the rapidly changing city: a radiant ‘You are here’.”

There is much info about the design and manufacturing processes and even interviews with employees of some of Poland’s biggest neon manufacturers during the 60s and 70s. And then there is the sumptuous, full bleed photography by Karwinska… Here are some images:

 

markbattypublisher.com

polishneon.com

 

CR in Print

Not getting Creative Review in print too? You’re missing out.

In print, Creative Review carries far richer, more in-depth articles than we run here on the blog. This month, for example, we have nine pages on Saul Bass, plus pieces on advertising art buyers, Haddon Sundblom, the illustrator who ensured that Coke will forever be linked with Santa Claus, Postmodernism, Brighton’s new football ground and much more. Plus, it’s our Photography Annual, which means an additional 85 pages of great images, making our November issue almost 200-pages long, the biggest issue of CR for 5 years.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

You may also like

jwhatch_crop_569_0.jpg - Biological curiosities - 3823

Biological curiosities

Featuring work by illustrators Jennie Webber, Polly Alizarin Harvey and Rebecca Hiscocks, a new London exhibition entitled Specimen looks to explore the freakier side of biology through prints, collage, illustrations, installations and even specially designed wallpaper…

2_philippehalsman_daliatomicus_1948_0.jpg - The decisive moment - 3850

The decisive moment

Magnum Contact Sheets reveals what went into achieving the perfect photograph in the years before the digital revolution

opening_image_1.jpg - London 2012 Olympic posters unveiled - 3819

London 2012 Olympic posters unveiled

A host of British artists, including Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread, and Bob and Roberta Smith, have designed posters to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Any gold medal winners?

planning CR

Senior Interior Designer

Planning Recruitment Ltd
Piccadilly Greetings Group CR

Graphic Designer

Piccadilly Greetings Group
Moss-Bros-CR-Staging-130x120

Digital Designer

Moss Bros
Moss-Bros-CR-Staging-130x120

Graphic Designer

Moss Bros