It is inspiring to see how in recent years a proliferation of initiatives have materialized in the form of monographic books or exhibitions that are serving to recover and value the work of the pioneers of Spanish graphic design. Virtually all the graphic artists that appeared in the book “Pioneers” in 2007, years later are still generating monographs that collect their work. And something similar is happening with design in the different Autonomous Communities.
In 2009, the City Council of Gijón together with the Museum of the Pueblu d’Asturies organized the exhibition “The Poster in Asturias”, publishing a magnificent catalogue designed by Manuel Fernández (MF). The poster that the Museum had in the year the exhibition was held included 900 posters, drawings and sketches, although the number of copies owned by Asturian public institutions is, as one would expect, very small compared to the production that came out of lithographic industries established in the region between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth century.
As Francisco Crabifosse Cuesta, a scholar of art and industrialization in Asturias, writes in a text of the aforementioned catalogue, however, “The poster has undoubtedly been one of the graphic products that has contributed most in Asturias to the modernization of artistic languages, to the opening and liberation of artists with academic training towards the proposals of the avant-garde and, in short, to opening the field of creation towards genres considered minor and marginal”.
The Fair of Samples of Asturias – especially since its tenth edition, with a contest won by Román Sansegundo Sáenz and an honourable mention to Elías García Benavides – has been an important showcase; the University of Oviedo, the Asturian Federation of Savings banks and some local brands such as El Gaitero or Arias, are institutions and companies that most notably contributed to the development of this particular form of communication.