‘When my father founded Filograf. Instituto de Arte Gráfico, in 1947, a dream he had worked towards came true: to have a design studio and graphic design workshop set up in the same place. His broad experience as a studio manager in the publishing house Industrias Gráficas Seix y Barral, from Barcelona, proved that this proximity was key to taking control of and, therefore, guaranteeing the quality of the work carried out.
He was aware of how important the image of his workshop-studio was, and went to great lengths to maintain it – as with his logos designed for clients and friends, it was designed and redesigned so that every five or ten years small alterations were made to give it a new lease of life. Thus, in the early years of Filograf (the late 1940s) its logo, with the famous flora f and the normand font he also used for other letters, initially appeared teeming with mildly coloured borders and vignettes that gradually disappeared; a process of starkness that pervaded as time moved on.
In the fifties he favoured what he called “calligraphic logos”, with his command of calligraphy and the expertise he had acquired as a sign painter alongside his father, a lithographic engraver, enabling him to try out infinite variations of the Filograf logo. The upper case f, with rippled endings was a constant, though it could be split into different parts according the different colours used.
From the fifties onwards, on certain occasions the Filograf logo was concluded with a vignette made from the initials of his name (Ricard Giralt Miracle) and applied vertically in many versions.
Surprisingly, for the Filograf logo in 1953 he used the fantasy f compiled by R. Stirling in his book Bellezas de la caligrafía (1844), which he had included in the plaqueta (thin book) edited in the winter that same year to send as Christmas greetings (also see the post ‘Plaquetas: Ricard Giralt Miracle).
The arrival of the sixties saw a radical shift in the use of fonts after, generally speaking, sans serif had predominated his work up to that point. Although the different forms of futura and venus took centre stage, in the end it was the Gaudí alphabet that finally carried the most weight.
Therefore, they were different approaches with variants, interesting in their own right. Yet to me the most relevant thing comes from that fact that they were a zealous study of the infinite possibilities embodied in just one word: Filograf. It was, as Zóbel claimed, because Ricard Giralt Miracle’s “love for the letter” was so big, as highlighted in his choice of name for his workshop/studio – Filograf, a word with Greek origins (filographs) that he was always loyal to.’
By Daniel Giralt-Miracle