Ľubomír Krátky (1939–2022) was a Slovak typographer, graphic designer and calligrapher.
Born on March 19, 1939 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovak republic), he lived and worked in Bratislava.
From 1953 to 1957 he studied at the Graphic School in Prague. He worked at several publishing houses (Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo, Mladé letá, Slovenský spisovateľ) as Technical Editor and Art Director. In a later period he worked independently as a book designer and typographer. From 1969 to 2004 he was teaching typography and graphic design at the Graphic Arts and Illustration studio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava.
His Prague studies gave him a deep knowledge of Czech typographic tradition and taught him about a specific position of book design within the field of other artistic disciplines, which allows graphic design itself at some point to become an art, and transforms a book into an artifact. His artistic signature is marked by respect to the founding typographic traditions.
The main and favorite field of his work was children’s book design, with complex text and illustrative structures (Zlatá brána) and poetry books – represented by the exclusive, illustrated edition of Kruh milovníkov poézie. He was one of the founding members of the edition in 1964 and designed almost 250 of its titles.
A book for him was a complex, three-dimensional object, whose substance is composed of type and typographic construction. His book designs were rewarded many times in national competitions – Czechoslovak Most Beautiful Books, Slovak Most Beautiful Books – and at the Brno Biennale. He received prestigious prizes at international book festivals for extraordinary typography of Lýsistrata (Golden Eagle, Book Festival in Nice, France and Bronze medal, International exhibition of book arts IBA, Leipzig, Germany), and Alice in Wonderland (Silver medal, IBA, Leipzig).
A natural part of his creative work was also calligraphy, a special artistic discipline, traditionally closely connected to the typographic type. Calligraphy for him was not only beautiful writing, but an individual expression of human hand and sensitivity. His extraordinary achievement within the Slovak book culture was a private bibliophilic edition of complex, illustrated book of Daniel’s Dream. Original calligraphy work, based on a biblical text, is written in flat pen and serigraphy printed, with full page color etchings by Dušan Kállay. The bibliophilist edition was rewarded the Main Prize of M. Galanda at the Martin Book Biennal (2001) and by the Slovak Most Beautiful Books prize (2002).
PNP Prague (1975), Sieň Laca Novomeského Bratislava (1976), Výstavná sieň C. Majerníka Bratislava (1985), Schriftkunstmuseum – Pettenbach, Austria (2004) and SCD Design Gallery – SATELIT in Bratislava (2018).
1972 – Golden Eagle, Book Festival, Nice, France, Lýsistrata
Bronze medal, International exhibition of book arts IBA, Leipzig
1977 – Modrá kniha rozprávok, Tri princezné na belasej skale
1982 – Publius Ovidius Naso
1989 – Albín Brunovský monograph,
Silver medal, International exhibition of book arts IBA, Leipzig, Alice in Wonderland
Brno Biennial Prizes:
1980 – Prize of Typografia magazine, Modrá kniha rozprávok, Ovidius, Paul Verlaine
1984 – Prize of ODEON book publisher, Heptameron, Alice in Wonderland
1988 – Silver medal, Cover jackets for the KMP edition, Homéros, Kaligrafie