Grzegorz Laszuk: Poles apart

While his friends eyed up girls and looked in shop windows, the young Grzegorz Laszuk was fixated on lettering. Street names, signage, posters: it became such an obsession, he wondered if it was the symptom of a strange illness.

Growing up, Laszuk played in bands. It was his bandmates who persuaded him to join them in studying law. He was the only one who passed his exams, but soon realised the legal profession just wasn’t for him.

While visiting friends in West Berlin, in 1989, he stumbled across an offset printing course – the perfect opportunity to indulge his passion for typography. When he returned to his native Warsaw, he joined a similar programme, where classmates turned him on to the first version of Adobe PageMaker: “Okay,” he thought. “Now, I’m home.”

Soon after, Laszuk bought his first computer, before landing a job at the newly opened Centre for Contemporary Art at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. Here, he began producing flyers, brochures and, finally, the posters that would become his trademark.

You’ve worked across numerous media. Why is that?
The answer is simple: I don’t like boredom in my life. I like the music of John Cage and The Ramones. I like to use photography and pure typography. I don’t close myself in one world. It opens me up to different experiences and forces me to learn all the time. That is what fascinates me in this line of work: every day brings new challenges. Sometimes I finish a project at sunrise. But I like it. And, luckily, graphic design isn’t my only activity. For 25 years, I’ve been a member of the independent theatre Komuna// Warszawa. I also used to design electronic percussion. In my graphic design, borders don’t exist.

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