Aartomaa operated his own graphic design studio and lectured for years at the Institute of Design in Helsinki and the School of Design in Lahti. He designed several hundred posters and book illustrations and received national and international recognition, exhibiting notably in Poland, Germany, Russia, Estonia and Sweden but also in Cuba and Mexico and the far eastern countries of China and South Korea. In 1975, he was one of the acclaimed creators of the International Poster Biennale in Lahti.
Aartomaa, along with such peers as the artist Pekka Loiri have been described by a Polish art scholar and curator as "representing the next generation of Finnish artists whose works have contributed greatly to shaping the image of contemporary Finnish poster design. Their output includes numerous cultural, advertising, and public service posters produced using a variety of interesting graphic art techniques and characterized by a decisive, poetic use of color.... In their posters I find all that I associate with Finland - a country unusual for its natural environment, architecture, and design." 
Aatomaa's artistic style is characterised by heavy use of primary colors often with an ascetic composition and typographic pictural form. Many of his works were inspired by natural elements which he used in compose abstract art. In the early 1960s he began producing book covers, and has been active in illustrating books throughout his career. In the 1970s, he was commissioned by the Lahti Museum of Design to create posters. His poster "Stop", dating back to the early 1970s is representative of his colorful poster art reflecting the environment and natural landscapes. Aatomaa had also collaborated with interior designer Yrjö Kukkapuro.
- "TPLA Posters from Finland". Warsaw, "Exhibition" Critics' Gallery June 9–29, 2002. Culture Poland. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
- "Posters from Finland. Tapani Aartoma, Kyösti Varis". Wilanów Poster Museum. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
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