SOL DE MIRÓ
In 1983, in the last few months of his life and at the age of 90, the Catalan artist Joan Miró was asked if he would design a symbol for Spain’s fledgling tourism industry. He agreed to the use of three elements from two preexisting art works – a sun and star and the word España – and in the process helped create the first abstract symbol designed to represent a country. Miró never saw the design in use, nor accepted any payment for it, but it went on to become the most successful and recognizable national logo ever created.
Ignacio Vasallo had been made the junior minister for tourism in 1982. Vasallo’s job was to help make Spain into a desirable tourist destination, a task made difficult by the fact that the country ...