Nauka koło Pasiekis considered to be the first Polish beekeeping handbook. It was first published in Zamość in 1614. The typography uses a single weight ofGaribaldi (designed by Henrique Beier) as a reference to the 1600s roman typography and its humanist type. A 20° axis, medium contrast, asymmetric serifs, and terminals related to the broad nib stroke give a historical touch to the design.
Nauka koło pasiek is part of the New Dimension of Old Typography series which consists of 10 redesigns of Polish books from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. The designs were produced as a part of a doctoral dissertation at the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku (Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland).
The objective of the dissertation was to analyse selected issues related to the history of typography. The study examines the narrowed concept of typography. The designs were chosen and varied in such a manner as to track changes and contrasts appearing in the field of typography throughout history. Links between tradition and modernity are expressed in the intentional combining of different classical typographic techniques and styles while observing the current phenomena in the area of art and design.
One of the major objectives was to select such modern typefaces – designed in the last fifteen years – that refer to historical models. In addition they allow to use a range of visual elements known in the history of printing, such as decorative ornaments and ligatures, engraved or shaded letters, and typefaces with optical size variations.
The designs were an attempt to clarify and articulate own artistic language, arose from the desire to create typographic designs of noble, pure and simple, yet visually rich character. Despite the archaic or even primitive – for today’s possibilities – methods, which were formerly available, old books were harmonious, balanced and incredibly carefully designed. Conscious looking back can help to maintain a high level of craftsmanship today.
The titles used in the series are important in the scientific and historic context, they focus on diverse topics and refer to various fields of human activity. They also provide some insight into the history of Polish printing. Antique books require appropriate preparation in the textual layer; linguistic modernization of Old Polish texts is necessary. Therefore, it was necessary to find ready transcriptions of selected titles and unify them, so as to maintain orthographic, stylistic and punctuation consistency throughout the entire work. Marcin Podlaski took it upon himself to standardize and proofread selected fragments of the works.
Ada Pawlikowska is a graphic designer, living and working in Gdansk, Poland. A graduate of the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, where she also currently teaches Typography in the Graphic Design department. Her main fields of expertise are typography and book design. With a keen interest in the aesthetics of traditional typesetting, her work probes the points of contact between old and contemporary book design and explores the impact of tradition on present-day typography.
New Dimension of Old Typography series is part of the Second Edition Project. More about the project and the author can be found at my portfolio website and Facebook.