Sorin Traistaru Sorin Traistaru


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 the Prague College. These two were my main sources of inspiration. After that, things went pretty straight forward: I traced on paper two ř’s, one made by Menhart and 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.

The process

I couldn’t let go of my other idea, to connect Franz Kafka somehow to the poster so I did a second one, using the first paragraph of The Metamorphosis (Proměna in Czech) and keep the diacritic marks while deleting all the letters. I kept the title mainly as a clue of where the diacritics are from but also as a way of emphasizing how the text changed and lost its meaning.

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CzechImage řř

In late 2018 the Bucharest Czech Center had this poster competition CzechImage and the brief was to create a poster on anything Czech-related. First things that popped into my mind were beer, Kafka, Mucha, and diacritic marks. Since I'm a letter geek I decided to approach the latter idea.

  • Client: Czech Center Bucharest
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