Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958

Feature by

Stephan Kantscheff (Kanschev) – A Bulgarian Master of Illustration

Stephan Kantscheff (Stephan Kanschev) was a Bulgarian artist born in Kaefer, Todental. He originally studied Slavic philology before studying mural painting at the State Academy of Art of Sofia. After his studies, he freelanced in commercial art and participated in exhibitions across Bulgaria, Moscow, Berlin and Brno. His colourful palette and joyous, folk-esque illustrations won him many commissions and his work was celebrated for both its quality and social significance. He was honoured with the Bulgarian State title ‘National artist’ in 1971

Cover design for Neue Werbung designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982
Cover design for Neue Werbung designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982

The President of the Union of Bulgarian Artists, Svetlin Roussev described Stephan and his work in Idea 170, 1982

“ There is probably no other artist In Bulgaria whose creative manifestations have penetrated so deeply our way of life that we perceive them as part of ourselves, as part of all that surrounds us in our everyday life and that we have come to accept as a natural necessity..”

“The presence of Stephan Kantscheff remains invariable, to remind us not only of the artist whom few of us know personally, but also of the functional and aesthetic significance of an art which is present among us without Apollonic claims but with the strength of an abiding aesthetic suggestiveness.’

Roussev, Svetlin – Stephan Kantscheff – Idea 170, 1982

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982

 

As a book designer he worked for Bulgarian Artists and Norodna Kultura, a publishing house in Bulgaria founded in 1945. His work was also commissioned by the Bulgarian TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee, the National Academic Theater for Opera and Ballet – Sofia and an array of cultural institutions, hospitality businesses and educational establishments.

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982

 

 

Some of his most iconic works are his beautifully illustrated postal stamp designs. A selection here have been scanned from Idea 170, 1982-1.

 

Postage stamps designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982
Postage stamps designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982

 

Postage stamps designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982
Postage stamps designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Idea 170, 1982

 

 

“… These stamps are brand new, contemporary but without being modish. A stamp has to have the qualities of the plastic art which will guarantee that it will stand the changes in trends during the years without getting outdated. Any of these stamps can be enlarged to impressive size, can be reduced to miniature but the stamp will not loose its clearness or its plastic beauty.”

Nenov, Ivan — Master of applied arts, magazine “Art”, issue 8/1961, pp 23–28

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958

 

Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958
Greeting Cards designed by Stephan Kantscheff. Scanned from Gebrauchsgraphik, 2, 1958

 

 

 

Related Items from the Archive

From my archive:

More articles

Rudolph de Harak designed over 50 record covers for Westminster Records as well as designing covers for Columbia, Oxford and Circle record labels. His bright, geometric graphics can easily be distinguished and recognised.
I first came across Kens work in the Unit Edition’s superb monograph, Structure and Substance, published in 2012. Although I had owned a few of the British industrial design magazines, Design, for a few years before, in which Ken had designed numerous covers for.