From Budapest, Éva Kemény and László Sós were a prolific, creative, and wonderfully prolific couple that produced a vast array of political and commercial designs from the 1950’s through the 80’s. Sort of like the East Bloc Eames, the couple, known as So-Ky, provided a colorful array of modern prints for national campaigns, regional festivals, cinema, education, tourism, etc. Their style provided a warm, humanistic contrast to the official socialist realism that had dominated the immediate post-war years. So-Ky also produced corporate identities, including the 1967 refresh of the Socialist ‘trade organization’ (for lack of a better comparison) Comecon.
‘Soc-Modern’, as their style is referred to now, owed more to western pop-art than to Leninist creed. And while the excellently crafted graphics may have suggested a rather placid mid-century cheer, the underlying messaging seldom veered from official doctrine, where the revolution was predominant (and the US an evil adversary).
Times have changed, and their work, neutered of any cold war menace, now seems quite innocuous— and fits quite perfectly over a modern sofa or credenza.
Some great posters by So-Ky and several amazing East European designers, mostly from the 20th Century can be found at the amazing Budapest Poster Gallery, on the Pest side of the Danube in the Hungarian Capital