60’s
Santamarina, design for Asturias

Santamarina, design for Asturias

In 2000 an exhibition was held at the Palacio de Revillagigedo, in the Principality of Asturias, in homage to five graphic designers from Catalonia who were pioneers in their profession and originators of the ADGFAD movement –Domènech, Huguet, Pedragosa, Pla-Narbona and Vellvé–. Its catalogue was signed by Elías+Santamarina. Elías and Santamarina started out together in 1972 in...
Vinyl, gouache, ruling pens, Letraset… the 1960s

Vinyl, gouache, ruling pens, Letraset… the 1960s

“But you have to see him because… he’s a very handsome man!” were the words Lola, the receptionist of the Alhambra Publishing House, blurted out to her extremely busy brother and director of the company, Pepe Zambrana. He interviewed him, of course, and set in motion a long-running relationship between the publishing house, headed by...
Temas españoles (Spanish Matters): Verdú's covers

Temas españoles (Spanish Matters): Verdú’s covers

The magazine Temas españoles (Spanish Matters) was an instrument for disseminating Francoist thought. The content between its covers enables us to gain an understanding of the ideas that evolved during the dictatorship via a selection of relevant issues and the construction of an idiosyncratic imaginary. The two-tone covers belonging to the first four hundred editions...
Bechtold, “Destino (Destination)” Barcelona

Bechtold, “Destino (Destination)” Barcelona

Erwin Bechtold arrived in Barcelona in 1950, although, as Ricard Giralt Miracle wrote in 1993, more than simply arriving in Barcelona, he disembarked in Filograf (see previous posts), the graphic arts studio where this pioneer would print his and his clients’ work. Bechtold and Giralt Miracle crossed paths in careers bound to print and typography,...
Partierra’s Book Covers

Partierra’s Book Covers

As I focused on the mysterious figure of Joaquín Pertierra I discovered the legacy of a restless graphic artist who, while faithful to his era, also looked towards the future and whose work brought more question marks to the surface as I uncovered it. An illustrator by profession and both elusive and sporadic, he developed...
Before Penguin

Before Penguin

Edicions Proa, founded in 1928 in Badalona at a time of popular culture and athenaeums, is an exponent of the standard of Catalan publishing in the 1930s that came to the fore by way of an exhibition and the illustrated book: La propera festa del llibre serà de color taronja! Cinquanta anys del rellançament d’Edicions...
The catalogue for mobile types of Filograf

The catalogue for mobile types of Filograf

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...
Cruz Novillo and Producers

Cruz Novillo and Producers

The first programme coordinated to unify printed and animated graphic art was used for Otto Preminger’s 1955 film The Man with the Golden Arm. The title sequence was designed by Saul Bass and featured an arm that traced the plot of the film: the drug addiction of its main character. The credits for the film...
A sharp point

A sharp point

In 1995 the “American Pencil Collectors Society” was founded in the USA, bringing together an interesting group of writing instrument collectors primarily focused on the collection of graphite lead pencils. For a number of years now, I’ve been pleased to form part of this Association, which publishes the newsletter “The Pencil Collector” as the “Official...
The graphic art of 25 years of peace

The graphic art of 25 years of peace

In Spain 1964 marked the 25th anniversary since the end of the Civil War. The convenience of using the central courtyard of the building that housed the Traffic Department’s Head Office saw an improvised workshop set up for producing a series of billboards by components of Grupo 13, who were “invited” to participate in a...
Jordi Blassi and the Cuenca Museum

Jordi Blassi and the Cuenca Museum

In 1966 the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art) was opened in the Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), in Cuenca, exhibiting a collection of paintings and sculptures by Spanish artists associated with this movement that Fernando Zóbel had been amassing, by and large, in the preceding years. The museum opening represented...
The El Corte Inglés pennant

The El Corte Inglés pennant

I remember the morning I began working as Art Director in the Publicity Department of El Corte Inglés as if it were yesterday. I was sneaking between drawing tables to introduce myself to my new Creative Director when an older man – white hair, smoking a cigar – asked me if I knew how to...