Filled with vibrant colours, strong compositions and spontaneous typefaces, the latest project from Madrid-based design studio Tres Tipos Gráficos is a compelling yet varied one. Generación 2019, presented by La Casa Encendida, is a catalogue that aims to brings together and promote the work of young Spanish artists – presented in an exhibition, competition and publication organised by the Montemadrid Foundation.
“It is one of the most important young art awards in Spain,” the studio tells It’s Nice That. As Tres Tipos Gráficos is highly involved with the art and culture scene in Madrid, many of the artists selected and featured in the project are either friends or people who they have collaborated with before. The winning artists include the likes of Saelia Aparicio (Ávila, 1982) with Prostheses for invertebrates; Ana Barriga (Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, 1984) with The Workshop of the Flies; Mario Espliego (Guadalajara, 1983) with Throats stitched, ankles tied; Ana García Pineda (Barcelona, 1982) with Gentlemen sitting in stripes, plus many more.
But bringing together the work of numerous artists is never going to be an easy task. “A collective exhibition is challenging, as many aesthetics have to coexist with the design of the publication itself. Although it’s very dynamic and actually pretty fun to shape,” says the studio. Usually, Tres Tipos Gráficos’ style would adhere to a neutral layout and flexible backdrop whereby the artist’s work take centre stage – “a continuation of the white cube of the exhibition space”. This time around, the team decided to incorporate a more lighthearted approach to complement the content within.
“In the case of a young art prize, we believe that design has to show some kind of personality,” says the studio. “We tried to design from within, not from outside – somehow becoming an extra player in the whole event. If Generación rewards young talent and the avant-garde, the catalogue design had to follow the spirit as well. The outcome is irreverent, a bit grotesque and playful.”
A prominent design feature from the project is the typeface created by Ignacio Cbrero, curator of the Generación 2019. Titled Arriba el telón (which translates to “Let the Curtain Rise”), its bold and consistent style serves as a metaphorical backdrop for the work. “Behind that curtain we found a wide selection of very heterogeneous projects but with something in common: the strong use of colour. From there the design plays around the concept of a theatre,” says the studio.
This theatrical and somewhat joyous approach means that Tres Tipos Gráficos can experiment with what it means to design an art publication, asking some very poignant questions: “Can design stand out in an art publication or must it be mostly functional?" for instance, or “What is considered modern or classic design for artists? What is the outcome of using trends and experimentation when done in the art domain?” With the studio concluding that: "We very often deal with these situations in our career and you can never be too sure of how your proposal will be received.”