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Many, many years ago, living in Barcelona, attended graphic design classes at Barcelona’s Escola Eina – http://www.eina.edu/ – . I had just returned from the United States as a former student of industrial design, alooking to learn graphic creativity,getting little away from “practical mercantilist ” American spirit. I wanted to study graphic design. In Eina I found an artistic atmosphere I did not expect at all in a Spanish design school at that time, but it was like this in Barcelona. At that time (80 ‘s), if you wanted to study graphic design there was only one option : Eina . The schooling available a staff of teachers “must” of enormous talent were among others : Albert Rafols- Casamada , Norberto Chaves , Mir , Noya , Claret Serraima , Toni Miserachs ( the Miseries ) , Manel Lock , etc. . , Etc. . professional teachers were the forefront of graphic design in Spain and recognized at European level . Rafols- Casamada (died 2009 ) , founder of the Eina school , for those who do not know , was a great artist and poet , extremely educated, valued in the world of art as one of the best Catalan artists of the twentieth century . This last teacher was the one I influenced my way of dealing with the design from the point of view that was closer to the creative philosophy ” : design , beauty ? ? , Art? , Aesthetic ? ? , In a camel ? actually a donkey, or backwards as Zimmermann say ? …

Donkey that wanted to be a truck

Eina was a very special place, unlike anything close. If a brothel of the gentry abandoned school became an avant-garde, where designing Tintin ‘s birthday became usual, or having a master class in the kitchen design, anticipating the current boom of new gastronomy, with Llorenç Torrado, Xavier Olive, Joan Enric Miquel Espinet and exerting Lahosa chefs. For someone who saw life in bars + stars and also – over, having to learn it all in Catalan, it was real shocking . Total impact .

Rafols y cuadro
Rafols- Casamada in his studio in Barcelona

They were strange times those for design. I think we were in a period of profound change unknowingly preveerlo powerless. On the one hand, the US had already appeared the first Macintosh by design schools did so as Jobs kind of planning: “to see how the students react to this and see if we go ahead”… They used us as guinea pigs. I remember when I saw the first Mac 128k in 1983 – had not yet sold – I thought, “this pileup is worthless”. I was not exactly a visionary at the time. In Eina defended the idea that the designer was a craftsman, he had to work with his hands. Mir, Claret Serrahima and Noya forced us to fill pages and pages with parallel lines drawn with the help of a tracer ( the Rotrings were gone there ) and Chinese ink. If you did not do all the lines the same thickness could not abandon the exercise. Some of us were more than two months making lines. We looked at each other with faces of despair. Work days and days coloring pictures taken by ourselves with photo paper and a table lamp, – Manel Esclusa, professor of photography and a little sadic man – and the famous anilines, bitter enemies of big hands like me. If you had “hands” were lost as a trainee designer. We drew a lot with models to naturally and fountain pen. In Rafols- Casamada class could not use pencil, pen and paper just blank. Patricia Pascucci, a classmate, had fled the Politecnico di Milano – http://www.polimi.it/ – class because they were forced to draw perfect circles freehand ink and negative (had to fill the entire sheet black less perfect white circle) Legend ? Patricia told us that if you did not right the third time, I took to the streets (sic) . The hand was everything even long before talk of creativity.


Tracers: Our greatest enemies

I remember the walk back to the apartment, all the days at the end of classes. I walked from the school taking Valvidriera road to Benedicto Mateo, a long way down (the way up to school was much worse), thinking, thinking … Finally I always felt myself very frustrated. I had no hand, it was evident, could be a designer? Would Eina the only school that was required to have both hands? Obviously, Italy also was a hell for “no hands” like me. What would I do with so many ideas, so much creativity, if at the end of the road it would not be a designer? Toni Miserachs, cover designer and professor publisher relentless Edhasa “design theory” in Ein , told me one day in the presence of my father (who was the one who paid the school): ” your child will never be a designer , he has no hands”. And then, what would I do now with all those worries about beauty, aesthetics, art, if it had no hand? I have to thank Norberto Chaves – http://www.norbertochaves.com/ – that being Eina teacher also told me sent out to take in the ass and continues to work on creativity. The first thing I did after that was not surrender to the evidence, I became a designer.


Frustration ? No Thanks 

Looking back , looking to the new students of design professionals looking to design “post Macintosh”, I wonder: Where to run the lyrics? What happened to all those skills you already are useless? Or if they serve? I do not think the designers “post Macintosh” know what a Repromaster. Barcelona Letraset mailed you those overpriced typefaces transferable, because it was urgent, I needed to design a logo. When expected “galleys”, eager to check, with fingers crossed, yes there had been a typographical error and having to repeat them. The hysteria when we had to deliver an original printing, four-color separation, handmade onion paper, cardboard pegadito cortadito and pen. The pleasure of seeing that the artwork you had done your illustrator “lifetime” fit perfectly on the cover of that book… The handling of the beautiful, of what really worked and not only in mind and spirit, but also the design was pure craftsmanship. When customers understand that the process still had to pay the price that was asked (a lot), and not only because the creative idea was brilliant, but because they were seen as shaping you worked hours and hours of study table… Anyway, let’s leave aside the storytelling as “Grandpa Cebolleta”. Although, if I may, I will ask a question because I feel like doing it: how graphic design might develop without the invention of Photoshop ?


Grandpa Cebolleta