Kari Piippo graduated as a graphic designer at the University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 1967. After graduation, he worked at an advertising agency for two years after which he has worked as a freelancer. Piippo established his own graphic design studio, Kari Piippo Oy, in 1987.
Piippo has lectured at schools of art and design in Finland and abroad since 1980s. He has worked as the lecturer of graphic design at University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 1989—1997 and since 2004 as a visiting professor at Tama Art University in Tokyo and as an honorary professor at Communication University of China in Beijing. Piippo has held poster courses and lectured around the world, and there are several international publications about his production. Piippo has participated in major international poster exhibitions since 1980s and worked as a member of jury in several Finnish and international competitions. He has held private exhibitions in the DDD gallery in Osaka in 1996 and the GGG gallery in Tokyo in 2013.
Piippo has been awarded with the Finnish State Award for Arts in 1988 and Lion of Finland Pro Finlandia medal in 2011. He was selected as the Graphic Designer of the Year in 1990, awarded with the Platinum awards in 1993 and four Golden awards in 1990—1993. The most important international prizes are The Icograda Excellence Award Chaumont poster festival in 1990 and Warsaw poster biennale in 2010, the first prize in Mexico’s poster biennale in 1990 and 2006, the first prize in Colorado's poster biennale in 1990 and Grand Prix at Trnava's poster triennale in Slovakia in 2012. Piippo is a member of the international graphic designers, Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).
Piippo specializes in illustration and poster design. Above all, he is famous for his culture posters and his significance is remarkable especially as the pioneer of modern theatre posters in Finland.
Kari Piippo, posters. Client: Maisternja Gallery, Kiev 2004
Diary of a madman. Client: Mikkeli Theatre, 1993
Paris. Client: Fête du Graphisme Artevia, Paris 2013
Finland and EU. Client: Posti Oy, 1995
City of Mikkeli. Client: The city of Mikkeli, 2001
Tertti Manor. Client: Tertti Manor, 2002