Author Archive
Super Veloz Type: the supercalifragilistic typeface (II)

Super Veloz Type: the supercalifragilistic typeface (II)

Of all of them (see previous post), Super Veloz was the one to bear the most fruit. Its main selling points were speed and savings. Using a single typeface, it was possible to produce many different creations. It allowed printers to make the leap into producing drawings, illustrations and logos using its modules, based on...
Super Veloz Type: the supercalifragilistic typeface (I)

Super Veloz Type: the supercalifragilistic typeface (I)

As the final echoes of Bauhaus and the avant-garde movements were sounding, Europe witnessed the emergence of the so-called New Typography, initiated by Jan Tschichold with the publication of his 1928 book of the same name. Adopting a san-serif typeface, rational design, asymmetrical composition and formal construction based on geometry were put forward as the...
Poza at Grupo 13

Poza at Grupo 13

Juan Poza ­­Tártalo cites how the collaboration with Federico Ribas and his admiration for the works of Rafael de Penagos and Bartolozzi gave rise to his interest in the poster. In the years that saw the poster become the showpiece of visual communication, Poza would produce more than three hundred, many winning awards in the...
“Vellvé”, the first Iberian “sans serif”

“Vellvé”, the first Iberian “sans serif”

In November 1971 the Fundición Tipográfica Neufville (Neufville Type Foundry) presented the “Vellvé” alphabet designed by graphic artist Tomás Vellvé Mengual at an annual event organised by FAD. The presentation resulted in a complete font family of mobile typefaces in body text 24 and won the Laus Award as one of the three best graphic...
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...