The various, distinctive motifs and costumes of Polish folklore take the form of posters in the work of the Polish illustrator Katarzyna Nowakowska. Let’s see!
We have discovered the works of Katarzyna Nowakowska, who lives and works in Poznań, in connection with her poster series on the iconic landscapes of Poland. In addition to designing a couple of books and board games, she has since made a series of posters about other regions of the world, touristic Polish cities, ecological problems, and Polish folk costumes. We asked Katarzyna about the latter series.
“The idea of Posterpolytechnic led us to develop a new poster series on folk costumes from different regions of Poland. First, posters of men’s and women’s clothing were made, and during the work, we decided to expand the series with posters showing patterns of folk motifs from the given region. Thus, you can choose from two types of posters from every Polish region,” Katarzyna said.
In the series, the main inspiration was the Szamotuły folklore, which is characteristic of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, the unique folk costume of the Krakow ethnographic group of Lesser Poland, which is still frequently used today, as well as one of the most popular folk costumes of the highlander people of the Podhale region, the Kashubian and the Łowicz folk attire. “The costumes of the Kashubians are the closest to me: their motifs are very light and depict wildflowers such as cornflowers, bluebells, clover, or forget-me-nots. Also, Kashubia is one of the most beautiful regions of our country for me,” the illustrator said.
She then pointed out: “Polish folk costumes are beautiful and colorful: each region has its own unique pattern and characteristic. In addition to presenting all these features, the series aims to elevate folk motifs into modern interiors.”
The illustrations are based on the same compositional principle. The posters presenting the folk costumes show a male and a female figure separated in the middle in a similar arrangement to a card game. “So we can hang the posters freely, by turning them 180 degrees, as we wish,” Katarzyna said. This mirrored visual solution also characterizes illustrations created exclusively from folk motifs. “The use of vivid colors and simple shapes combines tradition with contemporary freshness,” she added.
The posters by Katarzyna Nowakowska are available on the website of Poster Polytechnic.