Manolo Prieto Covers are Low-Cost and High-Quality

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These covers designed by Spanish illustrator Manolo Prieto between 1940 and 1957 were done for the low-cost weekly publication Novelas y Cuentos by the publishing house Dédalo. Americans would call them pulps, but they’re high-quality graphic design any way you look at it, and so contemporary in their graphic artistry, flat color patina and surrealist imagery.

Prieto, who is currently on exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid until Oct. 22, discusses the covers in his autobiography written in 1978, at age 66:

When I was commissioned by the covers of the Novelas y Cuentos Magazine, I began to illustrate how it has always been done: looking for the anecdote of a passage and doing it for the good, but I was so little paid, I decided to reduce it, drawing less and thinking more (because I thought I could do it as I walked down the street), and I turned the covers into posters of their own arguments.

Gracias to Mirko Ilic for the find in Madrid. More on Prieto can be found here.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National
Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →