Barcelona Cultura

Josep Pla-Narbona, acknowledged with Creu de Sant Jordi 2019

The Government of Catalonia has awarded designer Josep Pla-Narbona with one Creu de Sant Jordi of this year’s edition. This honour, whose aim since 1981 is to acknowledge those persons or legal entities that have provided remarkable services in the defense of the Catalan identity or in its cultural and civic programme, is the maximum recognition that someone can receive from the local Government.

Pla-Narbona (Barcelona, 1928) is considered a reference figure in the Catalan graphic design scene of 20th century. Illustrator, graphic artist, engraver and painter, he has received important awards such as the National Award of Design or Il·lustra d’Or Award of the Association of Professional Illustrators of Catalonia (APIC), and he took part in the first International Poster Biennale of Warsaw, the inauguration of the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York and the Collection of Engravings of MoMA. Besides this, he was the first Spanish member to be admitted into the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and co-founder and first president of Grafistes FAD, today ADG-FAD.

In 2013 Pla-Narbona donated to the Design Museum of Barcelona a big part of his graphic works from 1947 to 2009, comprising nearly 200 pieces: posters, advertising booklet, editorial illustration and corporative image. Some examples of these are the headline of newspaper Tele/eXpres, one of Barcelona Olympic Games 92 posters and many other creations for the pharmaceutical industry. He is also well-known for his visual arts, because he has always combined his work as both graphic designer and artist.

Illustrator, designer, and advertising agent Lluís Juste de Nin is one of the 28 remaining personalities that have received this award as well. He is recognised for his language characterised by elegance, sensibility and depth; his contribution to the graphic novel genre and his commitment to defend the normalisation of Catalan language. He has been connected to Armand Basi since its foundation in 1987 as director and at the forefront of the creative direction and design from 1994 on. In the Museum, there are very representative pieces of different periods and collections of the brand, some of which are displayed in “Dressing the body. Silhouettes and fashion. 1550-2015”. A demonstration of his finesse in terms of artistic direction can be observed in the communication campaigns and the edition of the brand’s catalogues, some of which are part of “Do you work or design? New visual communication. 1980-2003”.

For her professional career and her excellence in architecture on a global scale, Benedetta Tagliabue has also been recognised with a Creu de Sant Jordi. In her EMBT studio, this Milanese architect and designer has researched basketmaking with wicker, “the first universal language of the humankind, the language of hands”. The two persons couch Pepe, that can be seen at the online collection of the Design Museum, is the result of design and industry, and achieves lightness and sinuosity by carefully treating handcraft processes, so they can join the precision and quality of technologies. She has worked in projects such as Diagonal Mar Park and the restoration of Santa Caterina market, and she received the Ciutat de Barcelona Award in 2013.

Ajuntament de Barcelona