Why it is Difficult to Talk about Lithuanian Graphic Design

Thesis. Part of the graduation project (ArtEZ, Arnhem, NL)


The complex political and economical situation throughout the 19th and 20th centuries did not enable Lithuanian graphic design with its long-lasting traditions to develop. Different occupations were breaking down the early-seeds. Nevertheless today in libraries and museum archives it is possible to find great – even stunning – Lithuanian graphic design pieces from different decades of the 20th century.

I was curious to find out what is the Lithuanian story that links random Lithuanian graphic design items of the 20th century, who were the creators and what was the mindset behind the engendered graphic design works of different decades. Also how do past events correspond to the occurrences of today? Do knowledge of the history of Lithuanian applied arts help to question the role of graphic design in current Lithuania? Does it help for contemporary designers to contribute to the formation of Lithuanian graphic design traditions today?

After the careful analysis of the collected material related to Lithuanian applied arts, poster design seemed to be the most coherent in its history. For this reason I decided to base my writing on the history of Lithuanian poster design which could be a good start for further Lithuanian graphic design research. This analysis is combined with the history of Lithuania, which, I assumed, would let us understand complex Lithuanian graphic design history.

I assumed, that poster design analysis in combination with the history of Lithuania would let us understand more of the complex Lithuanian graphic design history.