As you might guess from the title, this article is about the socialist period in Bulgaria which took place between 1944 and 1989. And as controversal as these times might be, they gave
Bulgaria one of its greatest graphic artists up to date – Stefan Kanchev /1915 – 2001/.
Stefan has graduated from the National Aacdemy of art and since then has been the father of logo design in Bulgaria. In 1967 at the exhibition organized by AIGA /American Institute for Graphic Arts/he represented himself with 23 trademarks, the Petrol logo being its main accent. In 1994 Stefan Kanchev was acknowledged as one of the ITC design ambassadors therefore in the top 10 world designers, ranked side by side with names like Paul Rand и Saul Bass. It’s curious to know that everything by Stefan Kanchev was hand drawn!
The first part of the minimal.socialist theme is dedicated to the most famous cultural logos of Kanchev some of which are still in use after 20 years.
1. The Bourgas Opera House /still in use/ although the name of the institution has been changed a number of times
2. Rousse Puppet Theatre
3. New Drama Theatre /still in use/
4. The National Opera House
5. Sofia Theatre /still in use/.
What is interesting about Stefan Kanchev is his ability to incorporate the initials of the name in the design itself. This is the case with the Sofia theatre logo where the whole icon represents a mask, the eyes with the nose form a “T” for theatre and the mouth forms “C” for София /the Cyrillic name of Sofia/.
6. The National Opera Theatre