60’s
Josep Queralt, master classes

Josep Queralt, master classes

In December 2004, a show opened at the Museum of Valls, birthplace of Josep Queralt (1910–1993), curated by Santi Barjau and Jordi Paris. It presented works produced by this pioneer for local businesses and industry, including Farmacia Muret, Porcelanas Isard, and the iron and steel manufacturer, agricultural cooperative and printing house Moncunill. In the introductory...
Shouting at the wall

Shouting at the wall

Just a few months ago, the publication Crits a la paret i poemes visuals. Josep Pla-Narbona. Cartells 1947-2004, coordinated by the recently departed Professor Anna Calvera, was presented at the Barcelona Design Museum. In the files in my study, I still have the preparatory dossier in Catalan for this book, with a different working title...
“Christmas” pioneers

“Christmas” pioneers

In 1953, Producciones Editoriales del Nordeste, PEN, published in its collection Books of the Unicorn, a small text book by Joan Josep Tharrats in which he made a tour of Christmas greetings in the form of postcards, Christmas cards, keepsakes, etc. From the miniatures of the Books of Hours to illustrations by Saul Steinberg, José...
“Spain for You”, if I may say it

“Spain for You”, if I may say it

This special edition is published under the auspices of the Interministerial Board for the Commemoration of the XXV anniversary of the Spanish Peace and on the occasion of the exhibition “Spain 64–25 years of Peace”. Thus, this clarification on the back cover of the promotional booklet, Spain is Different [great slogan, by the way] closed, as...
La Mercè, La Merced

La Mercè, La Merced

“Barcelona is the wide and beautiful window, the proud balcony, from which Spaniards look out over that Mediterranean Sea. It is destined, again and always, to be the axis and crossroads of cultures, the path and the means to admirable joint participations.” I quote this statement, signed by V. Domínguez Isla, from the text of...
The Poster in Asturias

The Poster in Asturias

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...
Spanish "Graphis"

Spanish “Graphis”

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-,...
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...
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...
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...