Logo for the project The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020 announced!

The year 2020 is quite a milestone for Slovak theatre. In March 2020, the Slovak national Theatre celebrates its centenary. It was its foundation that launched new era in the history of Slovak professional theatre. 2020 also marks the 190th anniversary of the first-ever première of amateur performance on the territory of present-day Slovakia. It was held in August 1830 in the city of Liptovský Mikuláš.

17 individual designers or teams entered the competition for the logo of The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020

The public non-anonymous competition was to identify a proposal for the jubilee logo The Year of Slovak theatre 2020 in two language versions – Slovak and English. The logo is to be used to identify events to be held within the framework of The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020. The project was declared by the Slovak Government upon the initiative by the Slovak Ministry of Culture.

Theatre Institute received 20 competition proposal from 17 individual designers or teams. One proposal was instantly disqualified for it failed to meet the competition criteria. In the first round, the specialist jury rejected eight proposals, passing twelve to the second round.

Jury members:

  • Tomasz Bierkowski (President of the Jury; graphic designer and lecturer, Poland),
  • Mária Rišková (art and culture historian, Director, Slovak Design Centre),
  • Ľubica Segečová (graphic designer),
  • Zuzana Šajgalíková (Director, The Ján Palárik Theatre in Trnava),
  • Vladislava Fekete (Director, Theatre Institute).

The jury selected, in the second round, two winning proposals ranking them as follows:

1st place: Jozef Ondrík
2nd place: Ondrej Gavalda & Jana Gavalda Bellanová
3rd place: not awarded

1st place: JOZEF ONDRÍK

The proposal by the Slovak designer who specialises in typography, was awarded the 2st place. The author explains his concept: “Theatre itself is not a finite piece of art. It performs, highlights, interprets – yet all this ultimately ends with the spectator. For it is the spectator who participates in completing theatre as an active participant. This is the principle that lends itself to the YST 2020 visual system. We have intentionally removed the letter o – the removal turns into a metaphor of the open-endedness of theatre and a form of its interactivity where the final image emerges in the mind of the spectator.”

The jury argues that the winning proposal by Jozef Ondrík stands high above the other proposals, what has been reflected in the evaluation, for he received positive review from all members of the jury. The proposal treats the logo as a system of visual identity based on a code. It is sufficiently variable and intuitive; hence, it meets the criterion of its further use in different contexts of events within The Year of Slovak theatre 2020. The simple gesture of swapping symbols in an adequately chosen font opens further opportunities of its use.  

Jozef Ondrík: graduated in graphic design at The Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín (Czech Republic) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He worked on a range of graphic and typographic projects. Recently, Mr Ondrík collaborated with the Nike brand. He has extensive experience in font development.

Winning logo in Slovak and English versions

Logo project The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020 (Slovak version).
Logo project The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020 (English version).


Slovak graphic designers Ondrej Gavalda and Jana Gavalda Bellanová entered the competition with a concept of a logo that highlights the idea of what is going on in the auditorium, also happens on stage. “The year 2020 is the main formal theme – its form aids significantly the expression of content. Two numbers 20 that are looking at each other. Reflecting each other. One up on stage, the other one down – in the auditorium. The inscription Rok slovenského divadla 2020/The Year of Slovak Theatre 2020 also creates a line – a threshold that divides the reality of the auditorium from the fiction of the stage,” explain the authors.

The jury appreciate the proposal for its discernibility and legibility, as well as its contemporary language. The applications of the logo for different formats and materials prove the viability of the logo.

Ondrej Gavalda: Slovak graphic designer, graduate in graphic design from the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) in Bratislava. Mr Gavalda is Assistant lecturer in the Department of Visual Communication at AVA in Bratislava in the Studio Identity. He specialises in development of visual identities, book design and, occasionally, modular typography.

Jana Gavalda Bellanová: Slovak graphic designer, graduate in graphic design from the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) in Bratislava. Mrs Gavalda Bellanová works on different project in visual communication.

Samples of proposals

The jury decided to select two winning proposals and not to award the 3rd prize since the other proposals did not fully meet the competition criteria in terms of originality, or they failed to reflect contemporary style in communication design.