AIKA OK // Grafia 90 years exhibition

Grafia’s anniversary exhibition “AIKA OK. Grafia 90 years” explores time as a creative process and looks into the future. In 90 years, “ad makers” and “art illustrators” have become creative all-rounders with a wide range of skills. 

90 years ago, a group of representatives of a newly established Finnish profession gathered at the Taidehallin klubi restaurant: art illustrators, ad makers and advertising artists. Suomen Piirtäjäliitto, as Grafia was then called, was born at a time of social change, recession and unrest. At the same time, urban and consumer culture as well as the role of media were strengthening. The need arose to visually communicate about new products, ideas and ideals. Visual communication design has always had a strong link to contemporary times, which is why it has changed so much in 90 years. 

In honor of the anniversary, Grafia wanted to put together an invitational exhibition to it’s new space, Luonnos. The designers of “AIKA OK. Grafia 90 years” exhibition are Saana Hellsten, Antti Kalevi, Veera Kortelainen, Hannu Kyyriäinen, Laura Matikainen, Esa Ojala and Piëtke Visser.

“Rather than a historical overview, we wanted the exhibition to highlight examples of the different “forms” of visual communication design that we see today. The sample represents not only specialisation in different fields, but also people at different stages of their careers and of different genders. Perhaps predictably, time as a concept came up in the discussions: how visual communication design is a representation of its time, and how time comes across from the viewpoint of an individual designer. And what is the process like behind a finished work? We normally only get to only see the result, not the process of creation, which is also strongly influenced by time.” say the exhibition curators Ilona Ilottu, Esa Matinvesi and Katja Merisalo.

AIKA OK. Grafia 90 years

Exhibition dates: 6 October – 12 November 2023

Opening event: 5 October at 5pm–7pm, registrate here

Place: Luonnos – Creative Space by Grafia, Uudenmaankatu 13, Helsinki

Opening hours: Wed–Fri 12–5pm, Sat–Sun 12–4pm


Exhibition architecture: Antti Auvinen

Installation: Ville Auvinen

Visual Identity: Tomi Leppänen

Production: Essi Lax

Communications: Essi Lax ja Katja Ojala

Design District Illustration