Josep Pla-Narbona was born in Barcelona in 1928, early he lost his father and mother who died before the Spanish civil war started (1936). His uncles took care of him and soon he emphasized his love and aptitude for drawing.
As a young man in 1945, while he was working as an apprentice in publicity designer workshops (with J. Artigas and R. Fàbregas) he also studied at the School of Art and Craft and in the Conservatory of Book Arts, in Barcelona. In 1956 he spent two years in Publicité R.L.Dupuy in Paris, where he had the opportunity to meet Raymond Savignac. He returned to Barcelona in 1958 to set up his own Studio and by 1960 and 1961 was awarded with the Sant Jordi prize granted by the Artistic Circle of Sant Lluc for drawing and painting. Appointed professor of Advertising Plastic Art at the Massana School, he was one of the founders, member and elected first chairman of the “Grafistas Agrupación FAD” which is known today as “ADG-FAD”. In 1962, Pla-Narbona studied typographic techniques in Switzerland and worked with the advertising agency Adolf Wirz of Zurich. He also produced a sequence of lithographs for the Zurich company ARTA. In 1964 promotes the creation of the LAUS awards. Accepted to AGI in 1964, he has been the first AGI member and chairman in Spain. Since then Pla-Narbona found success, exhibitions and awards, related to his design and graphic work. Pla-Narbona’s designs and engravings have been exhibited in Europe and America including the 1st International Biennale Poster exhibition in Warsaw, at the inauguration of the Lincoln Center, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York. In 1972 some of his work was accepted into MoMA's Collection. In 1976 he received the first prize of the XVIII International Drawing Competition, Fundació Ynglada-Guillot, Barcelona.
Since 1977 he has been mainly devoting to Fine Arts (engraving, painting, and designing). He received the Honor Laus 2000 from the ADG-FAD, the Design Award in 2001 from AEPD (Asociación Española de Profesionales del Diseño) and the Spanish National Design Award 2004. Later, he was given the 2011 Ilustrad’Or award from the Professional Association of Illustrators of Catalonia and the Gold Medal of the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc (2012, Barcelona).
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