Adela Madej

Adela Madej is a Warsaw-based graphic designer. She’s a graduate of the Institute of Polish Culture at University of Warsaw and of the Faculty of New Media Arts at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology. She works mainly as an illustrator, poster and brand designer. She’s worked for Psyjaciele (a dog accessories brand), Hopito (a craft beer brewery), Coffeedesk (a coffee company) and many more. She is known for using bold typography and distinct strokes alongside vivid and strong colours. Cartoonlike aesthetics is one of her biggest inspirations.

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Stand with Ukraine

The “Stand with Ukraine” poster is definitely different from the works of art I create on a daily basis. I was looking for a slightly different means of expression to create it, intending to avoid the unsuitable ‘cartoonishness’ that I usually make use of. In my case, apart from the obvious disagreement with the aggression, the war in Ukraine evoked a reflection on the matter of the common roots of Poles and Ukrainians. I think that many of my compatriots understood how close we are to each other — in terms of both geography and culture. I have the impression that this was one of the aspects that triggered such a great response and scale of support on the Polish side. I think it’s an important reflection, especially in the context of the post-transformation aspirations of Poles to look only towards the West, somewhat away from their Slavic identity and common roots with their neighbours. For this reason, I decided to make my work feature the motif of paper cut-outs, a motif found commonly in both Polish and Ukrainian folk art. You could say it’s a modern version of folk art paper cutting — featuring peace symbols, but also a projectile pointing downward, with said peace symbols soaring above it. Flowers, which usually have a decorative function in folk art, have become here a symbol of new beginnings, of a land that will be reborn again with the coming of peace.