Graphic Design Classics: Stefan Kanchev

Design & Style

Stefan Kanchev (1915-2001) was a Bulgarian graphic artist with a very prolific career that can be seen in his numerous graphic pieces that vary from logos to stamps and other diverse mediae. He has been referred to as the "father of Bulgarian graphic design" and the "master of the trademark" and his work has a very particular style, based on symmetry and the use of simple shapes, being his work with logos the best example of it having around 1,600 examples of them under his arm.

The style of his work are inspired by the Bulgarian folklore and tradition which translates into colourful pieces with carefully designed details such as his beautiful work with stamps, tiny illustrations that evoke simplicity in a very classic manner. As for the rest of his vast amount of graphic pieces, they all share clear composition of innovative shapes that are result of his creative ideas. His work has been awarded numerous times and also featured in books of classic and emblematic graphic designers and rightfully so. Stefan Kanchev was not just talented but also exceptionally industrious artist. All of his works to the last letter were drawn by hand. His passion was so great that often he worked night and day without stopping. The artist’s wife remembered that he was working at his drawing table till the last moment when he was taken to the hospital. Stefan Kanchev died on August 22nd, 2001 at the age of 86.

A group of graphic designers have created a website to assemble his work and making tribute to him by showcasing it in its entirety for people to see and appreciate it. Go check it out, it's a great resource of inspiration and a demonstration that 'old' graphic design can still be contemporary. (Sorry for the amount of images but I couldn't resist!)




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