Co-design project between North Korean and Western designers.
North Korean graphic studios produce highly skilled artists who are trained both in hand drawn and digital graphics. However, with the arrival of digital print & design as well as foreign products creating competition for more homogenous glossy designs, hand painted graphics have almost disappeared from Korean products. In 2017 Phaidon published the Koryo Studio collection of North Korean graphics ‘Made in North Korea’
The book was a great success and inspired us to develop a project to look into North Korean graphic design in more detail.
Koryo Studio set a brief: To design next seasons wrapping paper. The wrapping paper would need to incorporate a hidden letter of the Latin alphabet A-Z, resulting in 26 pieces of art from both groups. We selected a group of young graphic designers from Pyongyang as well as Simo Herold (a Finish graphic designer we had worked with for various projects) so we could compare their creative process and resulting artwork.
The graphics were to be based on the material we published in ‘Made In North Korea’. Simo would design using digital technology and the North Koreans by hand painting. Draft sketches were shared and the artists could contrast or match the other artist’s composition
Koryo Studio is now looking for a venue to show these wonderful works – a few example below. You have to guess the hidden letter.
These two works incorporate the letter ‘B’.
Simo Herold’s digital work is above and the North Korean hand painted work below.
The following are examples of other hidden letters: