Polish Film Poster Workshop

Over the weekend of Friday 19thOct to Sunday 21stOct I attended a poster making workshop at South Block, Glasgow. I was drawn to this workshop because of my current interest in East European culture and history during the Cold War period. I was interested in learning about film making during this period and what kind of film they made.

Some Info from the press release and my own comments / photos.


BiG Poster is an artistic collective focused on contemporary art poster and its aesthetics in context of current situation of graphic design in the world. The main element of the project is the publication of an independent magazine BiG POSTER ZIN.


During the workshop, under the supervision of Grzegoż Myćka, a member of the BiG POSTER group, 13 workshop participants will prepare a poster each, which will be published in the latest issue of the magazine, the theme of which will be Polish cinema.

The workshop will last 3 days and it will take place in South Block (Glasgow).

  • 19th Oct (Fri) 1pm – 5pm
  • 20th Oct (Sat) 1pm – 6pm
  • 21st Oct (Sun) 1pm – 6pm

Workshop participants will be able to use only two colours, navy blue and yellow with the help of which they will be asked to present their interpretation of one of the four of iconic Polish movies.

The Films

Ashes and Diamonds (dir. A. Wajda, 1958),



Knife in the Water (dir. R. Polański, 1962)



A Short Film About Killing (dir. K. Kieślowski, 1988).




The Promised Land (dir. A. Wajda, 1975),


We didn’t watch this film, as it was complicated and 3 films were enough.


The Poster

These colors are not accidental – at the time of the ongoing Brexit discussion, activities related to presentation and promotion of Polish culture, the culture of the largest migration group in the United Kingdom, gain a completely new context.

During the workshop, participants will be able to use the available manual tools such as paints, brushes, rollers, and various types of paper. They will be used as a starting point for projects that will eventually be digitally completed and suitably prepared for printing.

The workshops will be combined with a short presentation about Polish cinema and in particular interpreted films as well as a mini lecture on how the aesthetics of the Polish poster looked like in the past and how it looks today.’

The Workshop took place as part of Polish Graphic Design week.

The Work I made

I choose to make a poster for  ‘A Film About Killing’. The first sketch I did was all wrong and not really good for a poster. Because I’ve been thinking about the landscape and composing scenes, I brought these ideas into the sketch to begin with and it didn’t work.  Grzegoż advised to focus in on the gallows in the picture:


He also suggested playing with the noose and making it into a face. I thought I knew a bit about poster design and design in general but it seems that I had largely forgot or maybe never even knew in the first place! I’m not sure. Anyway, there is a scene in the film where they get the hanging room ready and it is a really strange scene, the props are kept behind a curtain that opens so I used this next :


Again Grzegoż suggested that all of the stuff around the noose was not necessary and to get rid of it. I wasn’t so sure, but went wit the suggestion. Grzegoż certainly knew what he was talking about and I trusted his judgment. So the next iteration was the final one:


The image was then transferred onto the computer and some post-production applied. It will look slightly different in the print version. The poster will be printed soon and there will be an exhibition in Glasgow in a few weeks time with the 13 prints of each film poster that was made, including the one above,


My Experience and what I learned

The Films and culture under the Soviet Union

The object – focusing in on an object from the film to include in the poster , eliminating non important information from the scene

Composition – thinking about the place of object(s) and information

Loosing of style and being more expressive and free. Only using 2 colours and simple materials such as large brushes.

Metamorphosis of object and playing with object to change it’s appearance and characteristic to tell something about the film

Working in a group and getting real time critical feedback

Viewing the ideas and work of the other workshop participants


Some photos of the workshop:





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