The Bulgaria-born Stefan Kanchev (1915-2001) was a designer who led the applied graphic design scene of Europe from the 1940s to 1990s, throughout Postmodernism and into contemporary times. His prolific works related to various visual design fields, from posters to stamps and videos. In particular, Kanchev was at the forefront of logo design, having personally designed over 2,000 logos during his illustrious career. Not only is his oeuvre magnificent in terms of quantity, but its exceptional artistic quality and degree of perfection well demonstrates Kanchev’s ingenious talent. Although he was one of the most distinguished designers during a period when graphic design flourished, his name remains rather unfamiliar in design history. Kanchev was a designer veiled behind his creations, as more people remember him for his logos than his name. A member of graphic design organizations, including AIGA in the U.S. and ICTA in the U.K., Kanchev was discovered internationally for the first time when he was introduced in the Japanese design magazine Idea, in 1994. Today, Kanchev is regarded one of the most significant logo designers, along with Otl Aicher, Anton Stankowski, and Paul Rand.
This exhibition reveals a master who has remained hidden in the history of graphic design, and reilluminates his creative work. Logo Room exhibits original handmade works that capture the master craftsmanship of a graphic designer, as well as presenting reinterpretations of Kanchev’s works through a unique perspective rather than delivering his design work, one to one. The results consist of multi-dimensional mediums, such as installation, video, and printed material. These works shed light on something beyond the practical side of logos, thereby encouraging viewers to experience the design characteristics of the logos through diverse mediums.
During the creative process on Kanchev’s work, a large amount of original archival materials with his works were collected, which give the opportunity for their formation in a representative collection. Her first presentation in Bulgaria was at the exhibition curated by the author of the project within Sofia Design Week 2009, which received a great response among the general public and the media and gave rise to talk again about the name of Stefan Kanchev. The debut of the exhibition provoked enthusiasm and aroused self-confidence for the presence of such a high-quality Bulgarian design.
The exhibition is curated around four aspects: logos, biographical data, sketches and drafts, and postage stamps.
This is the first detailed study of the work of Bulgarian graphic designer Stefan Kanchev (1915 – 2001), the artist behind more than 2,000 logos. As an artist in a socialist country, he enjoyed a career that no western designer could even dream of, receiving state commissions with astonishing constancy and frequency. Many large and well-known companies and institutions in Bulgaria adorned themselves with his logos, a large portion of which have withstood the test of time and continue to be used, imprinted on the national consciousness to such a degree that erasing them would be unthinkable. His life’s work is documented in this book, insofar as it was possible to find the materials today and gather his numerous sketches and drawings. It illustrates why and how Stefan Kanchev has earned himself the reputation of one of the most notable masters of logotype of our time.
In 2021 we commemorate 20 years of Stefan Kanchev’s death and on this occasion the Logo Book was republished in Bulgarian and English with the financial support of the Pulp and Paper Institute, whose trademark is designed by Kanchev himself.
After the huge interest in the only comprehensive study on the work of Stefan Kanchev, collected in Logo Book, we are happy to share that you can now find the new edition in our online and offline channels, as well as in the sales network of our partners.