In late 2018 the Bucharest Czech Center had this poster competition, CzechImage, and the brief was to create a poster on anything Czech-related. The first things that popped into my mind were beer, Kafka, Mucha, and diacritic marks. Since I'm a lettering geek I decided to approach the latter idea. During the research, I found out that the Czech alphabet is the only one using the letter "ř". I went further and tried to trace back the first Czech type designers and see how they approached the diacritics. I stumbled upon two names: Oldřich Menhart and Vojtěch Preissig, two of the most influential Czech type designers. Digging deeper I found Veronika Burian's dissertation for the Master of Arts in Typeface Design at The University of Reading and an old talk of hers at Prague College. These two were my main sources of inspiration. After that, things went pretty straight forward: I traced the two ř's on paper, one made by Menhart and the other by Preissig, after a couple of iterations I made two linocut engravings with them (both designers used lino print back in their days), I scanned and overlapped them and then I added some colors inspired by one of Menhart's designs. Although this poster didn't win any prize, it was selected to be part of the main exhibition at the Czech Center in Bucharest.
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