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Latvian graphic design history. November 22, 2008

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
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jauna gaita magazine I was reading an article in Metropolis magazine about a Turkish design group. It was titled “The birth of a tradition”. “Istanbul has everything- everything, that is, except a contemporary-design movement to call its own. (..) You really have to understand your roots to produce an identity.” And, of course, it made me think about the situation in Latvia (we’re not the only ones to have this problem, hah..)the discussions all around- do we have design in Latvia, where is it, is there a possibility for design to exist, for designers- to work… I think a big part of the problem is that we are not aware of our past. How can we build the future without knowing our past!? I spent 5 years in an art/design school in Riga and I can say that I didn’t get almost anything from our design history and that is really a shame.

So I was very happy to discover the collection of Mikus Vanags.

Here you can find a wide range of examples of posters, books and magazine covers from Latvian graphic design history (approx 1920-70). The collection is made by Latvian graphic designer Mikus Vanags:” While living in Estonia I noticed that people have a very strong sense of visual identity of their country. So I wanted to find something similar in Latvia. It was hard to get good materials. It is essential to gather this visual information to understand what makes us different.”