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The Portuguese school of graphic design has been at the forefront of the international book cover design since the early 20th century. The Portuguese design, has developed a unique identity, it is a design that is self-taught, versatile and almost always operated in one way or another in a challenging socio-political environment.The enormously self-confident Portuguese design professionals such as Victor Palla, João da Câmara Leme, Otelo Azinhais, Sebastião Rodrigues, Figueiredo Sobral, Manuel Baptista, Luis Filipe, Júlio Pomar, Paulo Guilherme, as well as many others created a unique vocabulary of symbols and innovative compositions that defined the Portuguese school. Such achievement is truly remarkable for a country that its formal introduction to graphic design started relatively late. In fact, the first design courses in Portugal was offered in 1969, and design as an academic discipline was introduced in Portuguese universities in Lisbon and Porto in 1975. IADE - which opened in 1969 under the name Institute of Art and Decoration, and is now the largest private school of design in the country - , which will complement the schools of arts and crafts existed since the beginning of the century
In Portugal the design of book cover has been always treated as one of the most intriguing areas of visual communication. The book cover designer needs to think about the complexity of an art object that belongs to the universe of ideas which should be represented by a visual composition in association with a concrete object which would be mass produced in a commercial world. As João Bicker, of Ferrand, Bicker Associados explains: "We worked on the ideas expressed by others and try to interpret them visually. What is essential is the search for understanding of the text, the way that gives the best read. A suitable choice of typography, the shape of the book and page, the process of putting words and images in the form that best serve. " "there is nothing more important than the choice of typography, the letters that will read the text. Each font carries in its design characteristics that influence both formal and historical reading because they influence the shape of the text."
Contemporary Portuguese design is largely “international” in style, world class in caliber and sophisticated in its execution, regardless of medium—as such, it’s notable for its plurality, agility and openness to outside influences. Design instructor Luísa Ribas suggests that Portuguese design is particularly known for “articulating strong conceptual approaches with a sensibility to formal rigor, notable in the effective use of typography.” The Portuguese heightened visual sensitivity is represented by knowledge, skill, planning and vision. From a technical perspective a typical Portuguese designer shows sensitivity that his design would be printed on a particular type of paper of various weights, with choices of different printing processes, binding techniques, and a mixture typography, illustration and color. Within such criteria, the graphic artist always try to understand the main idea of a book and convey it in an honest and efficient way to the reader. It is argued that "in Portugal it seems that necessity truly is the mother of invention. Forced to work with limited means and resources, it seems that Portuguese designers have become frugality experts by “doing a lot with a little,” being exceptionally creative and “doing it all, on call.”
Born in Lisbon, Victor Manuel Palla e Carmo (1922-2006), architect, photographer, painter, ceramic artist, graphic designer, publisher, translator, gallery owner, and a man of many ideas; was the son of a theater make-up artist and amateur photographer, At age seventeen he began his studies in architecture and was graduated in Porto, in 1948. While in Porto, he ran the Galeria Portugália. After his return to Lisbon, in 1947, he participated in many Art Exhibitions until 1955, showing drawings, paintings, decorative art work, sculpture and photography.
Palla published theoretical articles in magazines such as "Arquitectura", which he directed in 1952, and designed innovative architectural projects in partnership with Joaquim Bento d' Almeida, an architect with whom he shared a studio for 25 years. Graphic design and editing were other areas in which Victor Palla had distinguished himself early in his life. In 1949, Palla created the famous collection of Os Livros das Três Abelhas-- the Three Bees books with José Cardoso Pires, and in 1952, he attended a Publishing and Book Production Course in London, applying some of his new skills to the Three Bees books and the Folio editions. In 1992, the Modern Art Centre of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in Lisbon, dedicated a retrospective photography exhibition on the artist and, in 1999, the Portuguese Photography Centre, in Porto, awarded him the National Photography Prize.
|Victor Palla, 1 9 4 7, William Saroyan, Atlântida Editora.|
|Victor Palla, 1 9 5 9 , Um homem na América, André Bay, Editora Arcádia.|
|Casa da Malta, Fernando Namora, Coimbra, Cover by Victor Palla, 1945|
|Montanha Russa, Tomaz Ribas, Coimbra, Cover by Victor Palla, 1946|
|In 1949, Palla created the famous collection of Os Livros das Três Abelhas-- the Three Bees books with José Cardoso Pires.|
|O QUE É A FICÇÃO CIENTÍFICA? WHAT IS SCIENCE FICTION? by Victor Palla|
Atlântida (Coimbra), Cover by Victor Palla, 1959
|Os Melhores Contos de João de Araújo Correia, The Best Stories of João de Araújo Correia, Cover by Victor Palla, 1960|
|Antologia do Conto Moderno, the Anthology of Modern Short Story dedicated to American writer Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987), Atlântida, Cover Victor Palla, 1960|
|O Homem e o Sardão, Garibaldino De Andrade, Arcadia, Cover by Victor Palla, Lisboa, 1960|
Born and raised in Dafundo, Sebastião Rodrigues (1929 - 1997) worked in Lisbon. Eearly in his life, Rodrigues learned the craft from his father, for whom he was doing various graphic errands in the advertising department of newspaper A Voz. At the tender age of sixteen, while working for Atelier de Publicidade Artística (APA), the Advertising Arts Workshop, he met Manuel Rodrigues, his future business partner, who accompanied him for 30 years. Rodrigues worked with virtually all the Portuguese pioneers of graphic design sharing experiences and knowledge.
In 1959, while he was in charge of the graphic design of monthly Almanac, Rodrigues traveled to the northern Portugal for half a year, with a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to research various aspects of the traditional Portuguese graphic design, which deeply influenced his style, grounding it firmly in the country's folkloric design. Being a perfectionist, Sebastião Rodrigues engaged himself thoroughly and with the utmost rigor in the entire process of design from the initial conceptualization to final execution, combining capabilities of offset printing with the traditional inspiration. He integrated harmoniously the typography the cover in the composition of the image.
During his one year tenure at Almanac, under its editors José Cardoso Pires and Figueiredo Magalhães, Rodrigues worked with many contemporary artists, such as Abel Manta. After leaving Almanac, he was commissioned by publishers Sá da Costa and Arcádia, first project in 1961, and Editorial Verbo, first project in 1979. Rodrigues designed numerous posters, leaflets, books, catalogs, and other graphic materials. He was graphic designer for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation since the 1960's. In 1954, he was commissioned to design Portuguese pavilions in Sao Paulo and continue to design Portuguese Pavilion 1956 (Rome), 1957 (Lausanne) and 1958 (Brussels).
Rodrigues received numerous awards and honors throughout his life, including the "Award of Excellence" by ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations) in 1991 and the Medal of "Grand Officer" of the Order of Merit, awarded by the President of the Republic in 1995.
|Agostinho, Alberto Moravia, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues with a photograph by Sena da Silva, Ulises, Lisboa 1959|
|Almanaque, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues. June 1960|
|O Apelo do Mar, Alexandre Grine, Arcádia Limitada, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues|
|Aparição, Vergilio Ferreira, Portugália Editora, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, 1960|
|Almanaque, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, 1960.|
|Almanaque, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, November 1960. Casa Portuguesa.|
|Os Condenados Da Terra, Frantz Fanon, Ulisseia, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, 1961|
|Terra Morta, Castro Soromenho, Sá da Costa, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, 1979|
|Complete Poems of António Gedeão, Sá da Costa, Cover by Sebastião Rodrigues, Lisboa, 1983.|
João da Câmara Leme (1930-1984), illustrator and graphic designer, was born in Moçambique in 1930 he died in Lisboa. Leme was the main cover artist and graphic designer for Editora Portugália during the 1960s, where he illustrated some of the most important books in various genres.
With a gentle warmth and erudition João da Câmara Leme, utilized black lines, solid or textured, to delineate an organic geometry of surfaces covered various shades of pastel, in a composition that was exquisitely balanced, accentuated by stylized figures with evocative tone.that made him one of the most talented and esteemed designers of the Portuguese School. João da Câmara Leme created a remarkable body of work that is conceptually imaginative, communicatively powerful and aesthetically remarkable.
Felizmente há luar!, Luís de Sttau Monteiro, Portugália Editora, Cover by João da Câmara Leme, Lisboa, Setembro de 1961
|Andorra, Max Frisch, , Portugália editora, Cover by João da Câmara Leme, 1961|
|A feira, John Updike, Portugália Editora,, Cover by João da Câmara Leme, 1961|
|O Barão, Branquinho da Fonseca, Portugália Editora, Cover by João da Câmara Lisboa 1962|
|Uma Abelha na Chuva , Carlos de Okiveira A, Portugália Editora, Cover by João da Câmara Lisboa, 1963|
|Hora Di Bai , Manuel Ferreira, Portugália Editora, cover by João da Câmara Leme, Lisboa, 1963|
|Barco sem âncora. Front Cover. José Loureiro Botas, Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1963|
|Apelo da Noite, Vergílio Ferreira, Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1963|
|As noites de Salomão Fortunato; contos, Maria da Graça Freire, Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1964|
|O rosto da inocência, William Sansom, Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1965|
|O Deserto , Fèlix Cucurull , Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1965|
|No Rasto do Corsário , Branquinho da Fonseca, Portugália editora, capa de João da Câmara Leme, 1968|
Contos Tradicionais Portugueses, Branquinho da Fonseca, Portugália editora. Cover by João da Câmara Leme,1968.
Júlio Pomar was born in Lisbon in 1926. He attended Escola de Artes Aplicadas "Antonio Arroyo", the Antonio Arroyo School of Applied Arts and Escolas de Belas Artes, the Schools of Fine Arts of Lisbon and Porto. In 1945, he was the graphic designer for “A Tarde” a journal in Porto. He was also collaborating with articles and drawings in various literary magazines, as well as paintings.
As WW2 ended Pomar became influenced by the Communist party and writers such as Redol and Alves. He joined a politico-student group called the Independentes. He perceived his art to be a socio-politico vehicle for intervention. His first group exhibition in 1945 at the Anteneu Comercial do Porto was an exhibition of anti-regime art, refusing cooperation with the Salazar regime. His oppositional stance restricted his access to the School of Fine Art and on his return to Lisbon he was imprisoned for four months. In 1950 Pomar moved to Spain and studied the work of Goya which greatly influence his painting in this period. In the following years he paints portraits of prominent political and social intellectuals including Maria Lamas and Mário Dionísio.In the 1960’s Pomar participated in the French student riots and painted a series of works on insurgency.
|Terra com Sede, Papiniano Carlos, Livraria Portugália, Cover by Júlio Pomar, 1946|
|Companhia dos Homens, Sidónio Muralha, Cover by Júlio Pomar, 1946|
José Maria de Figueiredo Sobral (1926- 2010) was born in Lisbon, where he attended the Escola de Artes Decorativas "António Arroio", António Arroio School of Decorative Arts. Sobral studied under Lino António, Paula Campos and Rodrigues Alves. He was a painter, graphic, illustrator, designer and poet, and his extensive body of work, consisting of drawings, engravings, watercolors, collages, ceramics, tapestries is spread over numerous collections.
Figueiredo Sobral was a co-founder and contributor to the journal Revista Minotauro. He also contributed to the graphic art of Diário de Notícias E. N. P. Being a dissident in the Salazar regime, Sobral was arrested several times for his political views. In 1975, he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he created a sculpture for the entrance of the city at the invitation of former Mayor Ralph Biasi.His murals and monumental sculptures integrate public urban spaces in Portugal and Brazil.
A oeste nada de novo, Erich Maria Remarque, Publicações Europa-América, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1957
|A abadia do pesadelo. Thomas Love Peacock, Portugália Editora, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1958|
|Deus Dorme Em Masúra, Hans Helmut Kirst, Publicações Europa-América, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa: 1958|
Queres Ouvir? Eu Conto, Irene Lisboa, Portugália. Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1958.
|A Terra foi-lhe Negada, Maria da Graça Freire, Contemporânea da Portugália Editora, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1958.|
|Chora Terra Bem Amada! Alan Paton, Publicações Europa-América, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1958.|
|O Covil, Frantz Kafka, Editorial Inquérito, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1963.|
|A Morte Dum Caixeiro Viajante, Arthur Miller, Colecção Três Abelhas, Cover by Figueiredo Sobral, Lisboa, 1963.|
|Torre De Vigia, Luís Cajão, Editorial Minerva, Cover by Otelo Azinhais, Lisboa, 1954|
|Mercurio. Os melhores contos dos melhores , Mercurio - Agência Jornalística e Editorial, Cover by Otelo Azinhais, 1955?|
|Tempo para Amar e Tempo para Morrer, Erich Maria Remarque, Publicações Europa-América, Cover by Otelo Azinhais, Lisboa, 1962|
|O Crime de Aldeia Velh, Ática, Bernardo Santareno (pseudonym of playwright António Martinho do Rosário) Cover by Otelo Azinhais, Lisboa 1966.|
Paulo Guilherme d’Eça Leal (1932-2010) was born in Lisbon. He was the eldest son of the painter Olavo d’Eça Leal. a contributor to almost all newspapers and periodicals of Lisbon. He directed graphic design departments of various literary magazines, created numerous book covers and has won many awards for graphic arts and advertising. He was a stage designer in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, a painter, a draughtsman, and an architect. He designed shopping centers, banks and restaurants, among his most important projects include the Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor, in Oporto, Lisbon Airport and the Museum of Macao Cultural Centre in Lisbon.
|Gigi, Colette, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, Lisboa, 1958|
|A Mulher Infiel, Jules Roy, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, 1959|
|A Gata, Colette, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, 1959|
Um Homem não Chora, Luis de Sttau Monteiro, Ática, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, 1963
|O Dia Marcado, Domingos Monteiro, Sociedade de Expansão Cultura Lisboa, Sociedade de Expansão Cultural, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, 1963|
|A Erva Canta, Doris Lessing, Ulisseia, Cover by Paulo-Guilherme, 1965|
Manuel Baptista was born in Faro in 1936. In 1957, he enrolled in Architecture course, but soon abandoned it to devoted himself solely to painting. He took Curso Complementar de Pintura, Complementary Course in Painting in Escola Superior de Belas-Artes, ESBAL. In 1962, with a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Baptista left for a one year study in Paris in 1962. In 1964 he landed a job in ESBAL as an assistant in painting which lasted until 1972. In 1968 he was grant holder from Instituto de Alta Cultura in Ravenna, Italy. After a number of exhibitions influenced by Miro and Klee he moved to abstract in 1959 with agglomerations of rough panels glued, modulation reliefs in positive / negative cut geometric brackets, boxes, and basic bonding layers. In 1966, he exhibited a series of monochromes at the Gallery Quadrant. After 1977 he travelling regularly to Lippstadt and Schmallenberg in Germany, where he created tapestries for the Falke Factory.
|Queda Livre, E.M. de Melo e Castro, Colecção Pedras Brancas, Cover by Manuel Baptista, Lisboa, 1961.|
|Queda Livre, E.M. de Melo e Castro, Colecção Pedras Brancas, Cover by Manuel Baptista, Lisboa, 1961.|
|Itinerário, Liberto Cruz, Colecção Pedras Brancas. Cover by Manuel Baptista, Lisboa, 1962,|
Luis Filipe de Abreu (1935 – ) was born in Torres Novas. He graduated from the escola Superior de Belas Artes, School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, where he later lectured. In addition to painting, he also worked as a graphic designer. He produced several designs for tapestry since 1967.
|Andanças do Demónio, Jorge de Sena, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Luís Filipe de Abreu, Lisboa, 1960|
|Os Insubmissos, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by Luís Filipe de Abreu, Lisboa, 1961|
|As Máscaras Finais, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by Luís Filipe Abreu, Lisboa, 1963|
|A Minha Universidade, Máximo Gorki, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Luís Filipe de Abreu, Lisboa, 1963|
|Uma Aventura Inquietante, José Rodrigues Miguéis, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Luís Filipe de Abreu, Lisboa, 1963|
Páscoa Feliz, José Rodrigues Miguéis, Estúdios Cor, Cover by Luís Filipe de Abreu, Lisboa, 1965
|O anão, Pär Lagerkvist, Editorial Cosmos, Cover by António Vaz Pereira, Lisboa, 1958|
|A Noite Roxa, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by António Vaz Pereira, Lisboa, 1959|
|As Boas Intenções, Augusto Abelaira, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by José Cândido, 1963|
|O cônsul honorário, Graham Greene, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by José Cândido, 1977|
|Fotomontagem, Artur Portela, Edições António Ramos, Cover by José Cândido,1978|
|O Crime de Kyralessa, C. Virgil Georghiu, Livraria Bertrand, Cover by José cândido, 1978|
A sample of 20th century cover designs