by Lisette van de Graaf

Barcelona is a city of designers and therefore graphic design can be seen everywhere, in many shapes and forms. So when Christopher invited me to write a guest post for his blog, it was hard to decide on what to choose. Finally, I decided to go with the graphic design and typography that we tend to overlook, as they are omnipresent and such a part of our daily lives that we no longer ‘see’ it. No doubt a lot of work went into creating these examples, so they are well worth showcasing.
The above logo belongs to Barcelona de Serveis Municipals, and more specifically to their network of parking spaces, which can be found all over the city and used by cars, motorbikes and bicycles alike. This particular one belongs to a car park on Carrer Bergara. Below, another example of graphic design for the local council. In this case, it’s for Department for Environment, a council department in charge of managing quality and sustainability criteria for the
provision of urban services and the maintenance of the environment. One of their domains is waste management, to which this logo belongs.

Found underfoot, on Ronda Universitat, is this lovely cast iron cover with the name of its maker prominently displayed. This is not very common these days, as this type of lid usually shows the name of the service provider whose tunnel it covers.

Another ‘old school’ example, is this sign found in the Muntaner underground train station. No doubt the designers of this enamel sign were much inspired by the signs used in the London Underground, for there are a number of similarities to be found.

Much more modern is the design for the local council bikes, called Bicing. Hugely popular, they are used by approximately 58,000 people every day. Their docking stations can be found all over town, and are a great way to move around the city. As use of these is per annual subscription, they are not available to tourists.

Found on a car at a petrol station: the logo for Catalonian television station TV3 – watching their programs is a good way to brush up one’s Catalan language skills!

An old logo which no doubt will be removed soon. It belongs to the former version of the waste disposal department of Barcelona’s city Council. For the design of this logo use was made of the simple floral pattern that can be found in many of Barcelona’s street tiles.

Two similar fonts have been used by Fira de Barcelona and the Regional Train Company, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, or FGC. Barcelona considers itself to be a modern city, and so all things graphic are continually renewed and redesigned. As a consequence, most fonts used are clean and simple, especially when used by the various local council bodies.
Thanks Christopher for the invitation to share my type of Barcelona with your readers. I hope you
have all enjoyed this selection.


Thanks to you too Lisette – your blog is a great source of images of modern urban Barcelona – I hope you’ll consider submitting more images soon!

So what’s in your neighbourhood?

I am putting out a request for contributors for the “my type of… place” section of this blog and would like you to put together your own typographic tour. If you are interested, download the contributors information sheet for more details, ideas and specifications here.