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Best of Behance: Edgar Bak

By Charles Purdy

Who: Edgar Bąk

What: Posters for Warsaw’s Centrum Nauki Kopernik

Where: https://www.behance.net/EdgarBakStudio

Behance member since: 2014

Designer and art director Edgar Bąk, of Edgar Bąk Studio, is an expert visual communicator specializing in print, branding, and illustration work, as well as music and poster art.

And it’s his poster work that recently caught our eye. His poster designs are exquisitely simple—but that simplicity is deceptive. With geometric shapes, bold colors, and expertly placed type, Bąk clearly communicates complex ideas. He calls it “maximum content in minimal expression.” 

Bąk’s posters for Warsaw’s Centrum Nauki Kopernik (Copernicus Science Centre) are an excellent example of this work. These unconventional posters are cheeky, daring, and elegant. The Centrum Nauki Kopernik is popular with Warsaw’s children, but it also has monthly “adult” evenings—events that focus on a particular subject (such as sex, vision, or time), with gallery exhibits, expert lectures, discussions, and grownup beverages. So far, Bąk has made posters for more then a dozen of these events and will continue with more as the events continue.

Bąk always begins by hand-drawing his ideas; he says that getting them on paper is the first step to seeing if they will work. After that, he’ll transfer a drawing to a computer—and then he won’t rest until he sees the idea fully expressed in different ways.

For each of the Centrum Nauki Kopernik posters, Bąk submits three proposals; usually, one of those initial three concepts is selected, sometimes with minor changes. He adds, “I have many almost-finished sketches that weren’t selected; maybe one day I will share them—a ‘director’s cut’ version.”

Of the posters he has done so far, he says the Dangerous Liaisons poster, also the first of the series, is his favorite. “I also like the smiling ruler [How Laughter Works],” he says, “although it’s not be the most popular. … Doing something as simply as possible gives me pleasure.”

With his graphic design work, Bąk says he hopes to achieve a “radical simplification of expression,” taking inspiration from nature (he’s a big fan of David Attenborough’s nature programs for the BBC) and art, rather than design, which he finds too dependent on trends.

Among its current projects, Edgar Bąk Studio is finishing a signage system for Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr (New Theater). The studio is also looking forward to an upcoming project: a typographic approach to printing the Polish constitution. And Bąk is in the middle of illustrating a new children’s book about gender equality. 

“As you can see, the projects are very diverse,” says Bąk, but that is pure fun, and it leaves room for learning new things.”

Check out Bąk’s Behance portfolio for more of his work.