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2013-01-22

New logo of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews

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The Museum of the History of Polish Jews will soon launch its cultural and educational programming in its new building. In April, the Museum will open its doors to the public. We are beginning a new chapter of the history of the Museum and it is on this occasion that we present the new logo of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the result of the cooperation with Przybora Zaniewski Ltd. agency.

On April 19th, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will open its doors to the public. The installation of the Core Exhibition will still be underway, but the museum’s offer will already include temporary exhibitions, panel discussions, films, plays, concerts, activities for children and adults alike. We will present many different facets of Jewish history and culture: the well-known and the surprising, the traditional and the modern. Never before has the continuity of one thousand years of the history of Polish Jews, from the Middle Ages to this date, been presented in one place, says Andrzej Cudak, acting Director of the Museum.

The new logo is intended as a reminder of the one thousand years of Jewish presence in Poland, but also of the rich offer and international character of the Museum, which will welcome visitors from all over the world in its new building– one of modern Warsaw’s architectural landmarks.

The logo was designed pro bono by a well-known Polish advertising agency, Przybora Zaniewski Ltd. (PZL). The creation of the new logo was a long process. In the end, the PZL team took their inspiration from a legend about the arrival of the first Jewish settlers in Poland. Jews began to arrive in Polish lands already in the Middle Ages, fleeing persecution. Having come to Poland, as the legend goes, they heard a voice from the heavens, saying “Po-lin”. In Hebrew, “po” means “here”, and “lin” means “you shall dwell”. Hearing “here you shall dwell”, the Jews settled in these regions, calling their new home, Poland, “Polin”. This is a beautiful legend. It is therefore no surprise that the word “Polin” is engraved in Hebrew and Latin letters on the glass panels of the Museum’s facade.

The Latin letter “P” has been combined with the Hebrew „פ” (pei), symbolically intertwining Polish and Jewish history. “P” for “Poland” and “pei” for “Polin”. A simple, geometric sign, comprehensible both to those using the Latin alphabet, as well as the Hebrew.

The font used for the letter “pei” in the new logo was not chosen at random. It is Chaim, the first modern Hebrew font, which revolutionised Hebrew and Yiddish typography. It was created by Jan Le Witt – a graphic designer, poster artist, typographer and illustrator, born in Częstochowa, Poland. Le Witt, or Lewitt, is best known for his work on illustrations of Julian Tuwim’s poetry. In 1929, while working for a Warsaw publishing house which printed books in Yiddish, Le Witt designed a font which he called Chaim, supposedly after his own middle name. De Witt’s story is thus an excellent example of the stories that will be told at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The colors used in the symbol allude to the cool greens and grays of the building’s unique glass facade. 

The new Museum of the History of Polish Jews logo is bursting with symbolism, while at the same time remaining extremely simple. It expresses the modern character of the new museum, its openness, as well as respect for the history and traditions it recounts, comments Andrzej Cudak. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews tells a story that is important to us all. This Polish-Jewish past not only determines the character of modern-day Poland and the identity of its inhabitants, but also that of Europe and the world today.

The new logo will promote the museum as a place of transformation, which connects people and creates the opportunity to look at Polish-Jewish relations from a different angle. Such an open attitude makes it possible to approach people from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds with respect and sincerity. We wish to make the museum an open place for dialogue and exploration. We are ready to engage in discussions with our visitors and the participants of our activities. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews does not give ready answers, but encourages independent reflection. We would like our guests to learn to use the riches of diversity, of which the history of the Polish Jews stands as a reminder.

Przybora Zaniewski Ltd. (PZL) – a famous advertising agency established in 1999. The ‘Projektor’ studio which specialises in the creation of visual identity, graphic signs and packages is part of the agency. The team which designed the new logo for the Museum was headed by Wojtek Kowal. The final version of this logo was designed by Robert Rosół and managed by Jakub Cieśluk. The entire process has been supervised by the founder of the agency, Kot Przybora.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will launch its programme activities in April 2013, will be the first and the only museum worldwide which will be entirely devoted to the history of Polish Jews. It will be much more than only a museum, being a versatile educational and cultural centre with a diverse programme. It will be an open place for meetings in a unique building which was designed by Rainer Mahlamäki. The building has already been built in the heart of former Jewish Warsaw. As a new and versatile cultural institution, it will become one of the landmarks of contemporary Warsaw and Poland. Beginning next year, you will be more than welcome to embark on a trip to one thousand years of the history of Polish Jews, which will be presented in the core exhibition.

The Museum is an example of a public-private partnership. The institution was established by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Capital City of Warsaw and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw in 2005.

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