On the cover of this “Selection of printing characters”, five different types already appear: a capital “F” – which he would also use in certain time periods as an image for his “Graphic Art Institute” – a “Spanish thin semi-bold”; his own name made up of English calligraphy characters, one “Hellenic”, and, to conclude, a Bodoni bold referenced as “Normandy” in the catalogue.
Filograf (see previous post), founded in 1947, was characterised as a design studio-workshop in which Ricard Giralt Miracle’s love for the letter and enthusiasm for the profession over his entire professional career lead him towards the publication of small wonders, for instance the samples of the types, baselines, borders and capital letters available in printing. In some ways, Filograf could have been the Spanish equivalent of Britain’s Curwen Press at the start.
Giralt Miracle is the only graphic artist in this generation of pioneers to bring together the twofold characteristic of being the designer and printer of his own creations, leading him on occasions towards the famous “plaquettes” (see previous post). His designs used superimposed colours and layers akin to the results produced in modern computer programmes such as Photoshop, which is why I like to think of Ricard Giralt Miracle as the only designer from that epoch who “worked with a computer”. As his son Daniel wrote, “Filograf was a dream and a reality. Ricard Giralt Miracle spent his whole life aspiring to conduct an orchestra of graphic resources (paper, ink, types, prints, re-prints, bindings, dies, etc.), not because he longed to control but in order to meet the objectives he set himself.”
If, as the designer thought, typography was the science and art that generated graphic culture, and the person who knew, appreciated and commanded the letter was qualified to exercise the profession of typography and, by extension, graphic design, this specimen of Filograf was the materialisation of his conviction and a piece that is possible to look up at the Arxiu Giralt Miracle, in Barcelona.