Latest entries
Pla-Narbona’s ADG

Pla-Narbona’s ADG

The Graphic Artist Group FAD published its professional intentions on 6 December 1961. “They were honestly and painstakingly dedicated to all professional undertakings and everything related, either directly or indirectly, to culture, aesthetics and graphic teaching”. This paragraph, signed by Pla-Narbona, the first president of the Group (see previous blog entries), appears at the start...
The Poster’s Third Dimension

The Poster’s Third Dimension

In 1890 the French painter Maurice Denis asserted: “remember that a painting – before it is a battle horse, a nude model, or some anecdote – is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order”. If this reflection is transferred over to the understanding of a poster, then it is unsurprising...
Pla-Narbona: Letters as partitions

Pla-Narbona: Letters as partitions

“A chronicle and works by the draughtsman, engraver and sculptor Pla-Narbona” – with no reference to design – is the title of a publication that runs through Pla-Narbona’s career until 1974. As the same long title ran on it elaborated: “works from his beginnings to the present day, compiled, ordered, described and interpreted by Francesc...
Nueva Forma (New Form), architecture and modernity

Nueva Forma (New Form), architecture and modernity

Nueva Forma (New Form) was an architecture and art magazine that sought to modernise our culture and open out towards major international phenomena. Spanning across the 1960s and 1970s (1966–1975), it had the patronage of the Huarte family, promotors of a significant number of cultural initiatives that included the Pamplona Encounters in 1972 (see previous...
Santamarina, design for Asturias

Santamarina, design for Asturias

In 2000 an exhibition was held at the Palacio de Revillagigedo, in the Principality of Asturias, in homage to five graphic designers from Catalonia who were pioneers in their profession and originators of the ADGFAD movement –Domènech, Huguet, Pedragosa, Pla-Narbona and Vellvé–. Its catalogue was signed by Elías+Santamarina. Elías and Santamarina started out together in 1972 in...
Vinyl, gouache, ruling pens, Letraset… the 1960s

Vinyl, gouache, ruling pens, Letraset… the 1960s

“But you have to see him because… he’s a very handsome man!” were the words Lola, the receptionist of the Alhambra Publishing House, blurted out to her extremely busy brother and director of the company, Pepe Zambrana. He interviewed him, of course, and set in motion a long-running relationship between the publishing house, headed by...
Cruz Novillo “armed the Nativity” […in 1970]

Cruz Novillo “armed the Nativity” […in 1970]

The 1960s saw a generation of designers gestate to give new and regenerated momentum to drawing in the strictest sense. In 1965 Celestino Piatti published Celestino Piatti’s Animal ABC, which contained a concept of refined illustration that set trends and represented a benchmark for numerous draughtsmen and women, with its considerable success giving rise to...
Temas españoles (Spanish Matters): Verdú's covers

Temas españoles (Spanish Matters): Verdú’s covers

The magazine Temas españoles (Spanish Matters) was an instrument for disseminating Francoist thought. The content between its covers enables us to gain an understanding of the ideas that evolved during the dictatorship via a selection of relevant issues and the construction of an idiosyncratic imaginary. The two-tone covers belonging to the first four hundred editions...
Bechtold, “Destino (Destination)” Barcelona

Bechtold, “Destino (Destination)” Barcelona

Erwin Bechtold arrived in Barcelona in 1950, although, as Ricard Giralt Miracle wrote in 1993, more than simply arriving in Barcelona, he disembarked in Filograf (see previous posts), the graphic arts studio where this pioneer would print his and his clients’ work. Bechtold and Giralt Miracle crossed paths in careers bound to print and typography,...
The covers of Novelas y Cuentos (Novels and Stories)

The covers of Novelas y Cuentos (Novels and Stories)

Behind the powerful personality of the Osborne Bull figure, designed by Manolo Prieto in 1956, was a striking body of work which was of particular relevance to graphic design in Spain: the covers which, for over 15 years, were produced for the weekly publication Novelas y Cuentos (Novels and Stories) between 1940 and 1957. The...
Catalogue of "Encounters" in Pamplona

Catalogue of “Encounters” in Pamplona

In 1972, in the city of Pamplona, a number of artistic Encounters took place, which, when analysed with the perspective of the years that have passed, have taken on greater and greater importance. The Encounters were put forward with the objective that the audience should play a part in the artistic act without a particular...
Partierra’s Book Covers

Partierra’s Book Covers

As I focused on the mysterious figure of Joaquín Pertierra I discovered the legacy of a restless graphic artist who, while faithful to his era, also looked towards the future and whose work brought more question marks to the surface as I uncovered it. An illustrator by profession and both elusive and sporadic, he developed...