During the 1939-1975 period there occurred in Spain a spectacular development of the chemical industry in general and in the pharmaceutical sector in particular. Along with the presence of the large multinational laboratories –Ciba Geigy, Sandoz or Roche– native companies like Uriach, Ibys or Alter were also active.

This growth was reflected not only in the variety of products but also in their graphic proposals. It could be said that the Spanish pharmaceutical sector counted from the beginning on the use of the services of the best designers of the time. Remember that the designers Pla-Narbona, Morillas, Huguet or Baqués worked for the laboratories J. Uriach and Co.

Such quality design with a high level of graphic experimentation as a means to connect with your target audience composed mostly of doctors who prescribed the drugs they knew through technical publications, brochures and commercial displays. The high level of creativity of the graphic proposals serve to circumvent ailments using metaphors, circumlocutions and evocative images. Connotative images using all too often surrealist resources.

Proof of the importance of this theme during this period is to be found in the fixed section of the PRAG magazine (see previous post) devoted to the graphic creations in this field since its very first issue.

The Alter Laboratories were founded in Madrid in 1939 by D. Juan José Alonso Grijalba covering, by the 60s, a wide range of antibiotics, antihistamines, or tranquilizers. For the communication of these products not only recognised graphic designers of the time like Cruz Novillo or Fernando Olmos collaborated, but also artists of the stature of Vaquero Turcios, Mompó, Molezún, Caballero, Farreras or Gabino.