Without the printers Edicolor, PRAG magazine could not have existed in its three dimensions, as an agency, magazine and yearbook. It was a company equipped with workshops to complete the whole process: editing, reproduction, composition and printing, through to the binding. It was no wonder that such an advanced printers in moments of splendor undertook such a utopian professional project given the high quality printing they produced. In 1962 Miguel Ángel Echeverría was able to fit into this company his project; the circumstances were ideal for the experimentation with a new publication.
Up until then in Spain, there had only been periodical publications related to print. Gráficas, Crónica poligráfica, Játiva, La industria gráfica, El mercado poligráfico, La gaceta de las artes gráficas, Anales gráficos, Las artes del libro, Boletín de las artes del libro, etc. While it is true that commercial art existed, focused on the publishing and advertising world, it did not reach the magnitude of the big magazines that existed abroad, such as Gebrauchsgraphik in Germany, Campo Grafico and Linea Grafica in Italy, Graphis in Switzerland, Communication Arts in USA, etc.
Miguel Ángel Vicente Echeverría [Zaragoza, 1931 – Madrid, 2006] had a degree in Pharmacy, was an expert in advertising, creative director of Arce Potti and general supervisor of Clarín. He toyed with the idea of creating a modern media inline with what was being edited beyond Spain. Thus, with the support and empathy of the Arechederra brothers (owners of the printers) along with José María Gimeno (who signed Yo, Gimeno) as artistic director, he founded and led a creative studio in the same street of Edicolor in Madrid, where the GART publishers (Promociones de Artes Gráficas, SL) was born and where the magazine PRAG–Arte Gráfico Español was created and published initially with the idea of being bi-monthly.
Only numbers 1 and 2 were published in 1965, as of number 3 there were plans to publish twice a year. These were the three numbers that saw the light of day. There was a number 4, completed but never printed. The magazine was edited in three languages, Spanish, English and German, with short texts promoting graphics. In the three numbers main articles were devoted to the graphic artists, Agrupación FAD and Grupo 13. They also published monographic articles dedicated to artists, advertising agencies, press and billboard campaigns, illustration, integrated design and signage, etc, covering all aspects of advertising creation.
Echeverría enthused by the positive reception of the first issues of the magazine, created another major publishing project in 1965 (just a few months apart from that of J. Pla-Narbona edited for the FAD in Barcelona), the yearbook of Spanish commercial art and its creators, with a foreword by Francisco G. Ruescas. There was also a second volume in 1966 but it was never edited.
By Javier García del Olmo