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Košice buildings inspired the new souvenirs of the city | Pattern designs by Tamás Grešo

Famous sights of the Slovak city inspired Tamás Grešo’s pattern designs, which he created for the contest called by the tourism organization Visit Košice, and which we can soon spot on various souvenirs in Košice.

When thinking of souvenirs, usually mass-produced postcards and fridge magnets come to mind, bordering on kitsch, but luckily we’re also familiar with progressive initiatives in our region—such as the Czech Pragtique—that encourage the creation of well-designed, unique and lovable products instead of boring bric-a-bracs.

Now it’s the city of Košice that decided to reinterpret its souvenirs with the involvement of local artists. The tourism organization Visit Košice published an open call, awaiting applications from artists working in various creative sectors, and ended up selecting nineteen of them to realize their plans. One of the winning designers is Tamás Grešo, a Slovak-Hungarian designer and graphic artist who wanted to evoke the built heritage of the city without depicting actual buildings.

“My main idea was to depict the famous buildings of Košice in an unusual way,” says Tamás, who simplified and adapted the design and decorative elements of the buildings he selected into mosaic-like patterns.

His three design plans conjure up the details of three Košice buildings. The pattern connected to St. Elizabeth Cathedral, the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe, evokes the floral motif on top of the building and the ornamentation of the interior. In addition to Jewish symbols, the pattern inspired by the Orthodox Synagogue on Zvonárska ulica also features the characteristic decorative elements of the interior, as does the design linked to the Košice State Theater, made up of abstracted versions of the building’s internal and external ornaments. We can soon spot the patterns available in print as well as on textile items such as T-shirts and linen tote bags in case we visit Košice.

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