Espacio Fundación Telefónica is holding a retrospective on Alberto Corazón (Madrid, 1942), one of Spain’s most iconic designers, with works ranging from the 1960s to 2015. The exhibition, which is curated by Ana Arambarri, includes creations that have become part of today’s Spanish culture. Most of his images and logos are well known by society and have become part of Spain’s collective memory. The exhibition includes a selection of designs created by Alberto Corazón over more than half a century: 132 posters, 115 images and sketches, 145 logos, objects and models.
Fundación Telefónica has thus put together a collection of designs by Alberto Corazón spanning over fifty years. There is no area of graphic or industrial design he has not worked in. He claims that “nowadays, the biggest risk in design is forgetting functionality and accepting that aesthetics must be compromised on. In recent years, pencils have been replaced by computer mice and nothing can ever be as before. This is the case in every way, both conceptually and formally”. Corazón defends design as an intelligent activity which results from reflection and thought. Creative effort manifests itself through sketches, drawings and diagrams which make up a communication strategy. He believes that excellence in this discipline comes from neurons, never from computer resources.
Designer, painter and sculptor. His conceptual and aesthetic footprint is extensive. He has published around ten books on design and artistic creation, testament to his commitment to his work. A member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, he has received awards from the most prestigious international professional institutions, and was awarded the Spanish National Design Award in 1989. This exhibition plunges us into a journey through symbols, objects, and signs. An immersion into the depths of graphic language.
The first graphic revolution: books
“The origin of design as a profession was the Industrial Revolution, which transformed our natural reality into an environment of objects and signs”. Corazón claims that the designer is the modern hero in this complex environment. The first revolution was triggered by the appearance of books. All areas of graphic arts are involved in book production: design, typesetting, engravings, printing and binding. It is a complex process which requires a high level of skill by qualified professionals. Books are so commonplace that we are not aware of their sophisticated cultural complexity. A humble paperback, bought for a few euros, is the final result of the efforts, decisions, knowledge and experience of professionals who feel a great commitment towards culture. “From those old printing presses, I learn not only a profession, but a way of understanding life,” recalls Corazón. “I learnt to listen, respect, and win respect. I was able to establish a wonderful relationship of exchange with those typographers, proofreaders, machinists and publishers.