Paws for Thought! Vibrant poster to raise awareness of plight of the Lynx

Jan Kallwejt’s poster for the World Wildlife Fund aims to highlight the threat to lynx in Poland and across Europe from drivers and hunters. Jan Kallwejt/PAP/Artur Reszko

Renowned artist Jan Kallwejt is at the heart of a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) poster campaign to highlight the threat to lynx in Poland and across Europe from drivers and hunters.

With its striking imagery, the poster by the ‘Pan Tadeusz’ poster artist seeks to raise awareness of how human activity is destroying the lynx's habitat.

The Eurasian lynx is one of the largest predators in Europe, after the brown bear and wolf. Although it can be found in many countries on the continent, including Poland, where there are about 200 of them, its survival is threatened by humans.

Kallwejt uses colour and detail to contrast the lynx’s wild existence with the threat of human civilisation: the soft browns and greens of the forest (and the lynx itself) contrast with the harsh red and black of the road and the city, with its skyscrapers.Jan Kallwejt

Based in Warsaw and Barcelona, Kallwejt is known for his illustrations packed full of colour and detail, which range from cityscapes richly decorated maps of Poland. 

In 2017 he was invited by the Pan Tadeusz Museum to design and illustrate a series of posters retelling the legendary poem.

Writing on his website, he said: “Although my works are often complex and full of details, simple shapes are always the base of each composition.”

The poster draws attention to the fragile existence of the lynx, which the WWF has been helping to reintroduce to Poland since 2007 to rebuild the country’s lynx population.Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

Created for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Kallwejt’s striking poster features a lynx and its cub in the forefront, with a forest behind it.

The rest of the poster shows various threats to the lynx, from hunters between the trees to the destruction of its natural habitant by deforestation and road construction. Tree stumps show where trees have been cut down.

The Eurasian lynx is one of the largest predators in Europe, after the brown bear and wolf. Although it can be found in many countries on the continent, including Poland, where there are about 200 of them, its survival is threatened by humans.Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The poster features Kallwejt’s characteristic use of repetition and symbolism. He uses colour and detail to contrast the lynx’s wild existence with the threat of human civilisation: the soft browns and greens of the forest (and the lynx itself) contrast with the harsh red and black of the road and the city, with its skyscrapers.

The way he drew the cars’ windows, like red eyes, gives them an aggressive look very different from the unthreatening expressions of the two lynx.

Based in Warsaw and Barcelona, Kallwejt is known for his illustrations packed full of colour and detail, which range from cityscapes richly decorated maps of Poland. Jan Kellwejt

The poster draws attention to the fragile existence of the lynx, which the WWF has been helping to reintroduce to Poland since 2007 to rebuild the country’s lynx population. More than thirty have been reintroduced: over 20 in north-eastern Poland, which is known for its forests, and 13 in the country’s south-east.

On the WWF’s website, users can adopt a lynx in Poland, as well as other animals in the country and abroad, from grey seals in the Baltic to snow panthers in Mongolia.