Graphis, the International Journal of Graphic Art and Applied Arts, is probably the best Graphic Design magazine ever in the history of our profession. Perhaps only the current “Eye Magazine” measures up to that mythical publication. Under the editorial guidance of Walter Herdeg it published every two months, in three languages -English, German and French-, a selection of works and artists from the very highest level in the world of graphic arts. In a way – and recognized by the majority of the active designers during the years of its appearance – Graphis carried out the functions of training and connection with the best of the international scene for a whole generation of Spanish designers deprived of design schools and hungry for any type of information about their profession.
In its number 127 of the year 1966, Graphis published a long article entitled “Spanish Advertising Art and Graphic Art” by Willy Rotzler that began with the following introduction: “The relative isolation of Spain in the years after its Civil War have caused a considerable delay in the evolution of its advertising art in comparison with other European countries. The talent, which was never lacking, and the economic development of recent years have brought about the blossoming of its graphic art.”
The magazine featured an extensive article spanning almost 30 pages that reproduced a collection of images of works by Josep Pla Narbona, Enric Huguet, Julián Santamaría, Félix Beltrán, Fermín Garbayo, Ángel Grañena, Pedro María Laperal, Amand Domench, Josep Artigas, Ricard Giralt Miracle, Baqués, Yves Zimmermann, Juan Poza, Tomás Vellvé, Cesc, Fernando Olmos and Juan Toribio, among others.
The cover of this issue reproduced an image created by Ángel Grañena, winner of the contest organized by the Spanish advertising magazine IP, which the accompanying text described as a symbol of the advertising world: “The little robot that enters with determination into the future, armed every day with new ideas and technical advances. A metaphor for the dynamic evolution of Spanish graphic art over the past ten years”.
Willy Rotzler highlighted the two most important creative centres in the country, Barcelona and Madrid, observing that “while Barcelona looks towards Central Europe as its main influence, with Switzerland as a model, Madrid remains more independent, although both centres tare obviously influenced by America ” Rotzler perceived “a surreal note, sometimes a Mediterranean serenity; sometimes sprinkled with an austere and melancholy tone”. He concluded by stating that “in both cases, this art has an unquestionable quality in and of itself.”