Ex-Yu Legacy in Graphic Design

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Ex - Yu graphic design influence and inspiration for today

Let’s say, we are taking a stroll back in time around the 20th century when Yugoslavia was still a country. We want to talk about some of the graphic designers that helped shape what we know as design today. Ever since its formation Yugoslavia was considered an extraordinary, unique country that had much to offer. Even though the country itself is nonexistent today, it remains an everlasting inspiration for today’s artists.
It goes without mention that the Yugoslavian style was influenced by many countries, the various cultures, religions, and traditions. The combination of Austro-Hungarian, French, German, Italian, and Turkish influence gave Yugoslavia a unique style, unlike any other European country. The complex union of Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism but also abundant and difficult history were an endless source of inspiration for Yugoslavian designers.

However, when we talk about Yugoslavia nowadays the majority is unaware of the graphic designers that created iconic graphics back in the day. So we can easily say that it’s often overlooked and we should recognize Yugoslavian designers and the entire era as something valuable and unique. 

Most of the graphic design work in Yugoslavia was done through an open call contest. We could probably write all day about famous designers from Yugoslavia and their work but what we want instead, is to concentrate on the style these designers cherished and the influence they made.

We chose four amongst the many famous Yugoslavian designers whose work we admire, if you are interested in their work then keep reading. 

1. Sokol Sokolović

Academician, scientific advisor, and the winner of lifetime achievement award for the best designer in the Republic of Serbia.

2. Miroslav Roko Antonić

Designer of the world’s famous logo and you probably know which one. The emblem of XIV Sarajevo Winter Olympic Games.

3. Mirko Ilić

Croatian and American graphic designer, political illustrator, cartoonist, and poster illustrator. 

4. Krešimir Zimonić

Croatian artist, illustrator, cartoonist, and animator. 

We cannot finish this article without saying that we are very proud of the graphic design legacy. To this day it continues to inspire many up-and-coming designers, helping them mold their style.