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Spanish Constitution of 1931

Contributed by Herb Lubalin Study Center on Aug 27th, 2021. Artwork published in .
Spanish Constitution of 1931 1
Source: License: Public Domain.

Seeing Annie Szafranski’s post about The Theatre of the Absurd reminded me of the 1931 Spanish Constitution I came across a few years back while researching the Super Veloz typographic system. The colors and the center-aligned Futura Black recalled this image for me.

“The Spanish Constitution of 1931 was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 9 December 1931. It was the constitution of the Second Spanish Republic (founded 14 April 1931) and was in force until 1 April 1939. This was the second period of Spanish history in which both head of state and head of government were democratically elected.” — Wikipedia

According to the image credits on Wikimedia, this version of the constitution was printed by Sucesores de Rivadeneyra S.A., a printer based in Madrid, who is still in the business of printing. The date, 1931, is reminiscent of the date set on the cover of the calendar produced by Sucesores de Rivadeneyra S.A. in 1932. The overall design style and the use of Futura Black are consistent with the modernist design aesthetic popular in Spain during the Second Republic. The prevailing style merged Art Deco-inspired influences with the more avant-garde cues emanating from Germany and the Soviet Union. The three bands of colors echo la tricolor, the flag of the Second Spanish Republic.

The interior pages are set in Linotype’s Antique No. 1 or something in the Bookman vein with the obliqued italics. The subheadings are set in a Fat Face that looks like Normande (Monotype’s recently released Falstaff is similar, too). The opening page shows a bit of a geometric sans also mixed in. It looks a lot like Futura, but has a wider C. Grotesca Radio (Gans) and Predilecta (Iranzo) come close, too, but don’t match.

Spanish Constitution of 1931 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

2 Comments on “Spanish Constitution of 1931”

  1. Below is a short video showing the interior of this edition:

  2. Nobody expects the Spanish Constitution!

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