Career. Pekka Loiri (b. 1946) has studied at the graphic art school of Aukusti Tuhka in 1971—1972. Before establishing his own studio, he worked as a designer in marketing agencies and as an Art Director in a publication company. He established his own graphic design company, “Studio Pekka Loiri” (earlier Original Loiri Oy) in 1983.
Loiri has lectured widely since 1980s. He has worked as the teacher and principle in the MG school in 1983—1997 and lecturer at University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 1983—1997. In addition, he has lectured at art universities in all the Nordic countries and at Krakow Art Academy, lectured and held workshops in Mexico City, Beijing, Paris, Soul, Torino, Taiwan and Ust’s design universities. Loiri has participated in the world’s most remarkable poster exhibitions, and his posters can be found in dozens of poster collections around the world. His work has been published in several publications and he has operated as a judge in several Finnish and international competitions. Since 2004 Loiri has operated as the president of Lahti poster triennale.
Awards and acknowledgements. Loiri has received the Finnish State Award for Arts in 1984 and the Lion of Finland Pro Finlandia medal in 2010. He was chosen as the Graphic Designer of the Year in 1991 and he was rewarded with the Platinum award in 2009.
Some of Loiri’s international awards are e.g. a gold medal in New York’s theatre poster competition in 1991, the first prize in Colorado’s poster biennale in 1993, honorary mention in Osnabrück Theatre Plakat Biennale in 1997, The Icograda Excellence Award in the international poster biennale of Helsinki in 1997, Grand Prix AUG design Global Crises poster exhibition in 2009 and several gold medals in the competitions of Graphis Posters publication. Loiri is an honorary member of the Union of Designers and Aalto University, and a member of Honorary Council of BICM, Mexico.
Field of specialization. Loiri is considered to be one of the pioneers in Finnish poster art. In addition to designing posters, Loiri’s expertise includes book graphics, designing comprehensive corporate images and designing logos and logograms.
Handprint. Pekka Loiri’s principles are striking, aesthetic and understandable which are visible in his works. Loiri swears by the name of simplicity and plainness, and he is known for his clear lines and powerful colours. His “less is more” way of thinking is often based on one simple idea. Although Loiri’s work are clear and may seem easy at first, there is more behind the simplified style and clean and rich colour world than what may be perceived by the viewer at first.
Design philosophy. The starting points of Loiri’s designer ideology and philosophy are simplicity and plainness. He is attracted by Scandinavian minimalism and constructivism, but also by German, Italian and Japanese design. In his works, Loiri reaches at timelessness, and he is not interested in the constantly changing fashion or trends. "When you do not follow the fashion, it is - at least in theory - possible to be an avant-gardist", Loiri explains his philosophy. He allows the layers of eras and ages to show in his work, because they cannot be avoided and they do not need to, either.
Sources of inspiration. ”The inspiration is there when you sit down by your desk. Design and architecture are interesting and inspiring. Music invigorates me the most. Schubert, Mahler, Mozart and Verdi impress me like many other composers from the old times. They have not been displaced by fashion and trends, yet you can still hear when their works were composed - they are timeless! However, nature is not a source of inspiration for me. Hiking in the nature is my hobby and I spend a lot of time in nature in my little island in Lake Puulavesi. It is for deloading your brain and body and collecting energy for work.”
Idols. ”My studio gods are masters of simplicity, such as Kaj Frank and Dieter Rams. Their perfect management of simplicity endures through decades. Regarding illustrators, I have admired for example the Czech Josef Lada, the cosmopolitan Heinz Edelmann and the world champion of drawing, Bulgarian Iliya Beshkov.”