Nicolas Sidjakov

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Nicolas Sidjakov
was born December 16, 1924, in Riga, Latvia, of Russian parents who had fled Russia during the Revo­lu­tion. He studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 1940s, and in the 1950s worked as a free­lance designer for the French movie industry, and in adver­tising. In 1954 he came to the United States with his family, where he continued to work in adver­tising. In the 1950s he also began to illus­trate children’s picture books. His first such work was published in 1957, and in 1961 he won the Calde­cott Award for Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins. The story, based on an old Russian legend, enabled Sidjakov to draw upon his own heritage and ‘Russian feel­ings.’ Throughout the 1960s and 70s he continued to illus­trate various authors’ books on a variety of subjects, including folk liter­a­ture.

Nicolas designed more than he illus­trated and the adver­tising annuals of the period are littered with his design acco­lades.

3 thoughts on “Nicolas Sidjakov”

  1. j.miho says:

    nicolas was to me more a designer than an illus­trator he was a excep­tion­ally good designer with modernist traits. he and his friends like tom kamu­fuji and a group of s.f. designers were spear­heading design in america as nyc was. the 60’s-70’s was the golden age of graphic design from a concep­tual basis. rock and roll was bursting out on the streets of s.f. with its habit of indi­vidual designs. others from russia who fled the stal­inist era was alexi brodovitch the amazing maga­zine designer and teacher of penn-kane-and many other photog­ra­phers in nyc. design revo­lu­tion was it coast to coast. it happened because of america was a place to be and express your­self-nyc beat paris for art as abstract expres­sionist flow­ered in nyc. print supported design and photog­ra­phers pushed the enve­lope of pictures and pushed illus­tra­tion aside. nicolas was in the thick of it.

  2. admin says:

    While San Fran­cisco was roaring along creatively, James Miho reshaped design from New York City. I still have samples from his Cham­pion Papers series and will not part with them. For more infor­ma­tion on Miho, a quick search online will intro­duce you to this iconic designer who’s place in graphic design history is firmly estab­lished and fondly remem­bered.
    Thank you for the comment.

  3. Laurel Burden says:

    I came across “Baboushka” today at the LACMA Cali­fornia Design exhibit and was imme­di­ately taken back to the 60s in Northern Cali­fornia. The book came into my life because I had two very young brothers and children’s book illus­tra­tions had always been a passion. I loved this book and as I started college in Oakland, became aware of the rich design commu­nity in the area. Mr. Miho’s remarks were wonderful to read and he, and his work with Cham­pion Papers were an inspi­ra­tion to a young graphic designer.
    Thank you, I’m thrilled to have found this site.

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