It’s lovely to discover a little corner of the internet helmed by a man so passionate about the graphic design of his home country that he spends all the free time he has telling the rest of the world about it. The corner in question is Graphic Pioneers – a collection of Spanish graphic design created between 1939 and 1975 lovingly curated by Emilio Gil.
The dates were selected for a reason: 1939 was the year the Spanish Civil War ended, and 1975 saw the death of General Franco. “Those are the years when Spain was recovering from the Civil War,” Emilio explains. “Publishers, printers and pharmaceutical companies were starting to work again, but they were tough years [for designers]. There was very little information about the international design landscape and even though it was tough they made a very beautiful and strong corpus of work.”
Thanks to the blog, these unsung heroes of graphic design are given a chance to shine, and it’s intriguing to see how a design scene that was essentially rather isolated from its peers elsewhere in Europe or in the US flourished. “I’ve heard others say that Spanish design is created without prejudices,” says Emilio. “We’ve always been secondary characters, but not the star of the film.”
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.