Baseline always aspires to inspire, this issue included, and we open, appropriately enough, with Westvaco Inspirations. This trade magazine, through Bradbury Thompson’s brilliant, visually rich, and experimental layouts, stimulated a generation of American designers.
Next, Patricia Cordoba evokes graphically the intense political climate of Spain in the 1930s, through a description of the poster designer and innovator in photomontage, Josep Renau.
Alan Fletcher’s skilfully crafted alphabet monograms remind us of the inspiration that can stem from the simplicity of single lines, then back to Spain for a look at the uniquely artistic graphics of Diego Lara, his work explored for us by Amaranta Ariño.
Finally, in his continued quest for the undersung typographic heroes, Steven Heller uncovers OHW Harank, a skilled German ‘grafiker’ whose packaging designs inspired others, including Paul Rand. Not sated yet with inspiration? More soon.
Diego Lara was born October 31, 1946, and died January 24, 1990, in Madrid, the city where he lived his whole life and pursued his professional career in graphic design. Although he managed to work for only two decades (dedicating the 70s mostly to the publishing business and paperback design, and the 80s to creating some of the best art catalogues ever produced in Spain) his legacy is enormous: hundreds of book covers and collections, corporate design, logos, periodicals, magazines, posters and brochures. What surprises most is the combination of breath and outstanding quality. In scarcely 20 years, his work brought about a change that can still be perceived in Spanish graphic design to this day.
Apart from his well known graphic output – the much admired and consulted public aspect of his published assignments – one can only be dazzled by his private production, unknown, seldom shown or intentionally hidden. This slow but sure pastime, this confidential biography of sorts, this mishmash of images, was put together by DL using the same tools that his commercial work threw into his hands: his scissors, and the only technique invented by the modernist movement of the 20th century: collage…
©2005 Bradbourne Publishing Ltd.