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What is metallography from Traffic Design?

Wiktor Bochenek
09 of November '21

Operating mainly in Gdynia, the Traffic Design Association presented an unveiling of new metal graphics created in cooperation with the city of Gdynia. Traffic Design has been trying to create new quality in public space for many years.

Traffic Design is an association that, as they claim, is driven by the atmosphere of the city. In addition to creating new visual identities, they organize events, cultural events, urban research and animation activities. They became famous after the "Re: design" campaign, in which they began designing new visual identities for local craftsmen in Gdynia. Over time, the project expanded to new cities in Poland and abroad.

metallography, or graphics forged in metal

As part of the latest Traffic Design campaign, organized in cooperation with the city of Gdynia, small decorations made of metal were created. They were located in downtown Gdynia. At Traffic Design they call them "metalographs."

I think it's an evolution of our interests and technological capabilities. We started with painting murals, then there were projects realized with metal, like gates and signs. The next step was to realize metallographs," explains Monika Domanska, co-founder of Traffic Design Association


"Medusa" was designed by Adela Madej. It depicts the eponymous smiling jellyfish made of sheet metal, which floats on the facade of an apartment building on Swietojanska Street. As the organization points out, the idea for the jellyfish is related to the building's owner, who is a retired scientist studying the sea.

Metalografika meduza Abstrakcja

Jellyfish and abstraction at Zeromskiego Street

© Traffic Design

Abstraction at Żeromskiego Street

Another work completed in cooperation with the city is an abstract composition installed at Żeromskiego Street. The openwork decorations, kept in white tones, were created by artist SC Szyman, who collaborated with Jacek Wielebski of Traffic Design on this project.

forget-me-not and street identification

The first realization of an illustration made of metal, joined by a jellyfish and an abstraction, was a decoration made in 2017 on the wall of the Niezapominajka Nursery in Gdynia, by Patryk Mogilnicki. Created from metal, the illustration depicts a group of children playing by a large forget-me-not.

A balustrade decorated with a lighthouse

© Traffic Design

A project that should also be mentioned is the calming of buildings on Focha Street in Gdynia. In addition to the color scheme, new numbering and architectural details made of metal were prepared. Some of them refer to stories told by the street's residents, and a lighthouse, among others, appears as part of the railings.

Initially, we planned to create a design involving even more variation in the buildings and the use of multiple colors. It was the residents who asked us to make the street more coherent and with a more subdued design," adds Natalia Wielebska of Traffic Design

plans for the future

Will metallographs become a permanent fixture in the space of Gdynia and other cities? All indications are that they will.

Soon there will be a premiere of our realization in Gdansk, where similar metallographs are being created on a network of new nurseries, which are being realized together with the city. The signboard of each nursery will be in the form of metallographs, depicting various animals, which will make it easier to recognize the building. We are finishing the design stage for Primary School No. 21 in Gdynia, where the facade will feature a combination of murals and metallographs," says Monika Domanska.
żłobek niezapominaja

decoration on the nursery's facade

© Traffic Design

Traffic Design has been trying for years to show that pastelosis combined with banter can be turned into high-end design that makes common spaces more open and friendly. The small-size minimalist metallography, with further development, can become a new symbol of Gdynia or the Tri-City, indicating how the streets should be decorated.

Wiktor Bochenek

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