Perhaps a lesser known (and unjustly recognised period) in the work of Daniel Gil is that of the years 1959 to 1966, when he worked on the visual style of the record label “Hispavox”. As with other areas of culture, the 60’s represented a graphic alarm call within a stagnant Spanish society. Seen today, the sleeves designed for Hispavox appear as fresh, modern and relevant as they did in their own time.
The musical styles were represented by tinted, over exposed or similarly treated images, with the blocks of disco influenced type representing mixes of colour impossible for the printers of the time to contemplate. The elegant and balanced compositions visible in these cover designs would serve as a testing ground for work begun in 1966 for publishers Alianza Editorial.
The Hispavox record covers can be classified in 2 distinct categories: adaptations of original designs and “exnovo” sleeves for the Spanish label’s own releases. In the first instance the most noticeable aspect of the designs is the use of typography in which some of Gil’s recurring ‘leit motifs’ are easily recognisable; a preference for Bodoni bold, Clarendon, Cooper brass, Egyptian faces and condensed type. Of note in the original work for Hispavox releases is Gil’s work with some of the best Spanish photographers of the time; such as Francisco Ontañón, and his use of exclusively typographic compositions.