Old Town in Głogów

30 years of reconstruction 1987-2017
  • DATE:
    Municipality of Glogow / TZG (Society for Glogow Land)
    Art direction; Cover design; Grid & layout; DTP; graphic design, photo editing & restoration
  • TOOLS:
    InDesign, lllustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, scanner, photo camera
    Publishing design, Editorial design

An album dedicated to the reconstruction of the Old Town in Głogów. It started officially 30 years ago. These three decades lead to summaries and reflections, but above all, they become a great opportunity to document and appreciate the enormity of the work put into rebuilding the "heart of the city".

The thousand-year history of Głogów is very rich. It abounds in extremely lofty events, but also tragic in its effects. Many of them happened directly in the old town, that's why this place was and is important for residents. The buildings of the Old Town were shaped by the Hrodna inhabitants for seven hundred years. Unfortunately, the Second World War caused huge destruction in it, at the same time bringing tragedies and terrible human suffering. Głogów undoubtedly belonged to the cities that were most affected by this war. To this day, the city heals the wounds inflicted on it, and the last ruins of monuments and undeveloped spaces still recall the memory of those days.

Destroyed cities dealt with the problem of post-war reconstruction differently. It has gone different ways in them. To this day, we can see old towns spoiled by unsuccessful architectural decisions. There were also such decisions in Głogów. Not only did the Old Town not be rebuilt, but the existing ruins were dismantled, leaving only some historic buildings. Later, in an empty place in the middle of the city, it was planned to build a "modern" housing estate, in accordance with the spirit and the need of those times. Fortunately, reason and respect for history and tradition prevailed. Although not much has survived from the historic buildings, it was decided to rebuild the Old Town within the network of old streets and to maintain the width of the medieval parcels. It gives us a feeling today that despite the new, stylized buildings, we're still in the old age.

This publication is a record and at the same time a fixed picture of the effects of actions that are the expression of efforts and care of entire generations of residents for this historic district. Today, it is a real pride and joy of Głogów, because the reconstruction of the Old Town is not just another investment, but even a vivid picture of the process of social, cultural, historical and administrative changes over a thousand-year city, which we all became an inseparable part.

I have worked on this publication over 7 months. From initial meeting, where the concept for the book was created, through multiple sub-meetings and consultations, to the end process of proof accepts and last-minute corrections and microp-changes.

Initial idea for the publication was 60 page photo album showing current image of Old Town contrasting with the views form the past, with little comments. First concept design has been based on checked grid, as white & red flag of Glogow. As the idea of the album has transformed into fully editorial publication, the whole design concept has been reworked multiple times.

My design work here was quite a complex task. Form first concepts for the publications, through changing the design according to the changes of the editorial concept to the multiple tasks of layout design, photo selection and edition, typography, DTP process…

During the process of working with the content I managed to work on digitalization and reconstruction of old photographs and illustrations sourced from the archives of the City Townhall and private enthusiasts of history, as well as collection of local organisations. The image processing intentionally includes film grain and some artefacts, as it was the idea of the editors to preserve the imperfections of the illustrations.

I have also art directed the album part showing the present Old Town. Overseeing the work of five photographers, I was responsible for the final choice and retouching of the shoots chosen to be included in the album. It was not an easy task, as the editorial team of 7 people as well as the president of the city involved in the process have insisted on very different accents to be included. So it is a work of compromise for sure.

The last part was to ensure the final production process of 1000 copies of the album. Pre-production file preparation, paper selection, correct binding and gloss UV accents for titling, as well as a soft touch finnish of the cover.

Finally I have presented the book incorporating mixed content of historical background, stories of the local inhabitants and the overall process of reconstruction of the Old Town in Glogow. Rather post-modern typography mixed with the solid grids, and trimming the photos to the side of the page (on bleed) created quite consisted composition with internal rhythm of the layout. Cover design presents view of the Old Town from the air, incorporating titling and red accents corresponding to the inner piece as final touch.

The publication has been presented to the public at the official ceremonial anniversary celebration on October of 2017.