Semiotics in the Archive: Tradition vs. Modernity

Within the framework of the collaboration between the Maresme Regional Archive, Vilassar de Dalt Town Council and the Archive of the Marquises of Santa Maria de Barberà,  and EINA University Centre of Design and Art of Barcelona (UAB), it is considered interesting to organize a series of activities that allow to disseminate the potential of the archive collections in Semiotics and Identity.

We intend to provoke a dialectical exercise between the ancient and the present, since we believe that the Noble Archives are the expression of the history and memory of one or more lineages. Through documents written on parchment or paper, but also through signs – shields, stamps, signatures, filigrees, trademarks – all elements  of identity.

In this sense, the project Semiotics in  the Archive: Tradition vs. Modernity includes,  firstly, an ephemeral exhibition of heraldic, stealth, signature, watermarks and merchants’ pieces, as well as current design manuals; an exhibition that will become virtual on this website, in its own thematic space. Secondly, the production of the videos Heraldic Dialogue-Design, Video conversation with Armand de Fluvià and Claret Serrahïma and The identity of lineage, Video of the private space of Vilassar Castle. And, thirdly, the organization of a scientific conference with heraldists, historians and designers of the highest renown.

Links of diffusion


1st conversation: Stamps and Signatures

The triggers for this conversation will be the examples of stamps and signatures from the archives of the Marquises of Santa Maria de Barberà and the examples of ex-libris loaned by the Documentation Centre of the Barcelona Design Museum, which will have been on display together in the exhibition in the same space as the symposium, before the talks.

The aim is that each participant in the conversation, from his or her expertise, will relate to the object-sample of the exhibition that is close to him or her (in this case: stamps, signatures, ex-libris), although he or she can also contribute other references that he or she considers relevant, and engage in dialogue.


Joaquim Graupera

Joaquim Graupera Graupera (Mataró, 1963) graduated in Geography and History from the University of Barcelona (1981-1986). After completing the PhD course “Art and Everyday Life” (1994-96) in the Department of History of Art, he obtained a degree in History of Art from the University of Barcelona (1998) with the thesis “Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque architecture in the Baix Maresme”. In 2004 he obtained the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in History of Art at the University of Barcelona with the qualification of Excellent. Finally, she obtained her PhD in Art History from the University of Barcelona in 2012, with the doctoral thesis “Gothic art in Baix Maresme (13th to 16th centuries). Art and artistic promotion in a peripheral area of the county of Barcelona” directed by Dr. Francesca Español i Bertran.
He has worked as an associate lecturer in the Department of History of Art (University of Barcelona – Faculty of Geography and History) teaching the subject “Art of ancient civilisations” in the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 academic years. She has also taught the courses “Medieval architecture and artistic forms: use and function II” (2008); “The Medieval artist I” (2014) and “The Medieval artist II” (2015) in the framework of the Summer University of the University of Lleida in La Seu d’Urgell. Since 1989 he has worked as a teacher in the area of social sciences at the Escuela Pía Balmes in Barcelona, where he has also worked as a tutor of different promotions of BUP, COU, ESO and Bachillerato and as Head of the Department of Social Sciences and Pedagogical Director of Bachillerato (2003-2005).
In the field of research, he has specialised in the field of medieval artistic heritage, especially in the Maresme region, a subject on which he has published several monographs: La arquitectura religiosa prerrománica y románica en el bajo Maresme (vol. I) (Argentona: La comarcal Ediciones, 2001); La arquitectura religiosa prerrománica y románica en el bajo Maresme. Monographs (vol. II) (Argentona: La comarcal Ediciones, 2003); La familia Desplà – Gralla como promotores de arte. Work awarded by the Local Research Grant of Alella 2012. (Argentona: La comarcal ed., 2016) and together with the photographer Anton Briansó, El Maresme (El Vendrell: March Editor, 2007).
He has participated in various national and international conferences, courses and seminars and has published several booklets and articles, especially in the field of history and heritage. Since 2007 he has also collaborated with the radio programme “El Racó”, with the aim of disseminating local history and heritage on Mataró Ràdio (89.3 fm).
He has collaborated in various local entities. He was co-founder of the History Group of the Casal de Mataró, where he has held various positions on the board of directors from the beginning until 2012, creating the Medieval Studies Section and directing the Maresme History and Archaeology Conference. He is currently the director of the biannual symposium “IN MARITIMA, Symposium on history, culture and heritage of the Medieval Maresme” organised jointly with the Vilassar de Dalt Archive Museum. He has also been a member of the Group of Friends of Romanesque Art of the Regional Museum of El Maresme (1982-1989); member of the team of the Museum-Archive of Santa Maria de Mataró (1982-1987) and founding member and member of the association Amics de Puig i Cadafalch (2012-2014). Since 2009, he has been a member of the board of Friends of Romanesque Art, an affiliated society of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, as secretary and member.
He has won several awards, such as the CIRIT Award for fostering the scientific spirit of youth in 2002, for co-directing the research work of high school student Marina Nogué i Pich from E.P. Balmes in Barcelona “La excavación arqueológica, teoría y práctica” (Archaeological excavation, theory and practice) together with Joaquim Gratacòs i Pérez. She was a finalist as a member of the team of the programme “El Racó” of Mataró Ràdio in the 23rd edition of the Rosalia Rovira Prize (Granollers, 2008), in section B dedicated to a self-produced programme broadcast by a municipal radio station with a population of more than 15,000 inhabitants. He also won the II Blocs del Maresme Award, “Best Society Block” for the block “Vallès Medieval” awarded on 24 October 2009 in the Can Comas Auditorium in Pineda de Mar by Diari Maresme and the 1st edition of the “Local Research Grant of Alella” for the work “Els Desplà as promoters of art” (Alella, 2011).

Daniel Piñol

Daniel Piñol Alabart (Riba-roja d’Ebre, 1968). He holds a PhD in History from the Rovira i Virgili University and is a lecturer at the University of Barcelona, at the “Antoni Gaudí” Faculty of Church History and at the Corso Europeo di Cultura Medievale in Rome. His main line of research is the history of the Catalan notary’s office, on which he has numerous publications and participations in national and international conferences. He is currently directing a project on the medieval notary’s office in Mediterranean countries, made up of researchers from various universities and research centres, both in Spain and abroad. He is a researcher on the project Index de indexación de los protocolos notariales de Barcelona (XIII-XV centuries). He co-directs the Scripta & Imagines collection of archival texts. He directs the journal Estudios Históricos y Documentos de los Archivos de Protocolos. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the journal Studi di Storia Medievale e Diplomatica and a member of the Scientific Committee of the research network Notariorum Itinera.

Francesc de Ribot

Francesc de Ribot, graphic designer, graduated from Eina, University Centre of Design and Art of Barcelona (UAB), combines his professional work as a visual brand identity consultant with teaching and research.
Professionally, he has more than 25 years of experience in graphic design consultancy in the service and consumer sectors. In the academic field, he has taught at several schools. Currently, at Elisava, he is head of the Graphic Design department, professor of the Degree in Design and professor of the Master’s Degree in Packaging. In the field of research, he holds a PhD from the University of Southampton, on a project that evaluates the mimetic behaviour of the corporate visual identity of products, companies and institutions.


Alexis Serrano

Archivist and director of the Regional Archive of El Maresme (ACM); lecturer at the Antoni Gaudí Faculty, director of the journal Singladures and coordinator of ACM publications, member of the editorial board of Analecta Sacra Tarraconensia and director of the Church Archives Research Group of the University Athenaeum of Sant Pacià. He is the author of Crónica de un rectorado, L’Abans de Vilassar de Mar, 1001 curiosidades de El Maresme, Els resistents catalans, and El Maresme desaparegut. With other authors he has published: Mataró Barroc, Any Puig i Cadafalch, El Mas Jordà de Santa Susanna, Els Vallmajor de Dosrius, El Hospital de Sant Jaume i Santa Magdalena, Autobiografía de Mataró, La producción vidriera en El Maresme. Los libros de privilegios y canalares de Mataró (1294-1819), L’Abans de Mataró 1965-1992, Maresme Yeyé, Acudits amb Història and Barcelona – Mataró 1848, El primer ferrocarril de la Península.

2nd conversation: Brands – Logos

The triggers for this conversation will be the examples of brands (water, merchants, etc.) from the archives of the Marquises of Santa Maria de Barberà, and the examples of brands (through corporate identity manuals) loaned by the Documentation Centre of the Barcelona Design Museum, which will have been on display together in the exhibition in the same space as the symposium, before the talks.

The aim is that each participant in the conversation, from his or her expertise, will relate to the object-show in the exhibition that is close to him or her (in this case: brands, logos, corporate identity manuals), although he or she can also contribute other references that he or she believes to be pertinent, and engage in dialogue.



Lourdes Soriano

Lourdes Soriano Robles holds a PhD in Romance Philology (2000) and a BA in Anglo-Germanic-English Philology (1995). She has been linked to the Department of Romance Philology at the UB since 1995 through research grants (predoctoral and postdoctoral) and as associate professor (2002-2005) and lecturer (2005-2008). Since 2008 she has been a full professor in the Department of Classical, Romance and Semitic Philology and a researcher at the Institute for Research in Medieval Cultures (IRCVM) of the UB. Trained in codicology and textual criticism under the direction of Dr. Vicenç Beltran and Dr. Gemma Avenoza†, her doctoral thesis dealt with the Hispanic fragmentary testimonies of Tristan en prose and its textual transmission, a subject on which she has published a book (Livro de Tristan, Rome, 2006), as well as the fragmentary tradition of the Hispanic Arthurian material in various articles in specialised journals and studies of the whole. She has participated in international colloquia as an invited speaker focusing on the study of this subject (Univ. Porto 2011, Univ. Cambridge 2014). Her research on Arthurian literature led her to study the biography of the legendary monarch included in the Spanish translation of Rodrigo’s Crónica de Inglaterra con el fruto de los tiempos (ca. 1504-1509), sponsored by Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England. He is currently preparing, together with Antonio Contreras (UAB), the critical edition of the chronicle, on which they have published several articles devoted to the sources used by the Castilian translator.
Soriano’s main line of research, however, is related to the research project BITECA (Bibliografía de Textos Catalanes Antiguos), of which she has been a member since 1995 and of which she is currently co-director with Dr. Beltran. BITECA is one of the bio-bibliographic databases, this one dedicated to medieval Catalan literature, which is part of Philobiblon, a pioneering project in HD on Romance texts written in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages and early Modern Age, coordinated by Charles B. Faulhaber (University of California at Berkeley). Together with other members of the BITECA research group, he has published several works on the edition of unpublished testimonies, quantitative codicology and European and American bibliophilia of the 19th-20th centuries, as well as contributing to the descriptive volume on the collections preserved in libraries and archives of the Valencian Community (2013). He has also participated in the PhiloBiblon researcher training seminars organised annually since 2015 at the Cilengua headquarters in San Millán de la Cogolla and at the Biblioteca Nacional de España and the UCM Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla in Madrid.
Within BITECA-PhiloBiblon, Soriano is currently preparing the second volume of the series, devoted to authors and works of medieval Catalan literature, and is principal investigator of the research project “Después de la pista de la literatura perdida: fragmentos de obras medievales procedentes de archivos eclesiásticos y de la Inquisión” (2021-2024), funded by the Agencia Estatal de Investigación, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2020-113752GB-100).
As a member of BITECA-PhiloBiblon, Soriano is a collaborator of the network of excellence Libro medieval hispánico. From the manuscript to the internet era (RED2018-102330-T, which is a continuation of NFFI2015-69029-REDT). Among the results of the interdisciplinary collaboration of the research groups, the publication, co-edited with G. Avenoza and L. Fernández, La producción del libro en la Edad Media: Una visión interdisciplinar, (Madrid, Sílex, 2019. ISBN: 978-84-7737-986-7) stands out.

M. Dolores López

M. Dolores López Pérez is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Barcelona and director of GRAMP. D. from the University of Barcelona since 1993 with a thesis entitled La Corona de Aragón y el Magreb en el siglo XIV (1331-1410), directed by Dr. M. T. Ferrer, Research Professor at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.
She has carried out research stays in Paris, Genoa, Florence and Tunis. She has been visiting professor at the University of Paris X-Nanterre, the University of Mannouba (Tunisia) and the University of Sfax.
She has given a large number of seminars, conferences and courses in different European and Maghrebian universities. His main line of research has focused on the relations between the Crown of Aragon and the Maghreb in the late medieval period. Since 2000 her research has concentrated on the analysis of the processes of economic, social and cultural transformation in the Mediterranean, prioritising research focused on migratory movements.
Since 2015 she has been principal investigator of the projects related to the study of the Torralba Trading Company and director of its research team.

Pablo Juncadella

Pablo Juncadella graduated in Graphic Design at EINA, Centro Universitario de Diseño y Arte de Barcelona (UAB), after a period of four years working at Grafica (Madrid / Barcelona) and later at Pentagram (London), in 2003 he founded the Mucho studio together with Marc Català. Initially, they were in charge of the creative direction of the British newspaper The Observer (London), combining this task with corporate identity, editorial design and packaging projects. In 2006 they moved permanently to Barcelona.
Mucho is a strategic design studio that operates internationally with branding, creative strategy and transmedia design projects to build visual narratives that transform the culture of a brand, promoting collective intelligence and multicultural exchange in the search for emotional images to renew conceptions of the world. The studio works on global projects from offices in Barcelona, San Francisco, New York, Paris and Melbourne. The studio has received numerous awards from the design world. It has a Yellow Pencil from D&AD, several Laus trophies, Gran Laus, Art Directors Club of Europe silvers, a silver and a bronze from the Art Directors Club Mentions (New York) and the award for best editorial supplement of the year from the Magazine Design Awards. Mucho’s work has been featured in various publications, such as El País, Wallpaper Magazine, Elle Decoration, El Mundo, Studio Culture, Editorial Made in Spain, Étapes Graphiques and Monocle.
Juncadella’s global vision and great interest in visual knowledge have been fundamental contributions to the growth of the studio. His approach to design focuses on simplicity, ingenuity and joint creative solutions with a special interest in typographic expression.
Today, together with his team, he works with the goal of finding solutions that fit in with the positioning of brands by providing original ideas.

Josep Maria Mir

Josep Maria Mir (Barcelona 1949) is a graphic designer trained at the Massana School in Barcelona, with a professional career linked to the evolution of graphic design in Spain.
He is executive creative director, partner and founder of Summa, one of the pioneering agencies and brand consultancies in Spain, which received the National Design Award in 2008. An expert creator and experimenter of forms, he also works from a strategic point of view, which has allowed him to bring a broader vision to brand design. He is also a disseminator and promoter of the profession, with the aim of valuing it and giving it a relevant position in society.
For more than two decades, he has been vice-president of the Association of Art Directors and Graphic Designers (ADG-FAD); director of the LAUS Awards; member of the Board of Directors of the Foment de les Arts Decoratives (FAD); and director of the Barcelona Design Centre Foundation (BCD). He also taught at EINA, Barcelona University Centre of Art and Design (UAB), where he was also head of the Graphic Design Department, as well as professor and tutor of final projects at Elisava. He has also been the Spanish representative at several general assemblies of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA), and a member of advisory committees of important public institutions such as the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid (MEAC), the Olympic Office for the Barcelona 1992 candidacy and the Culture Department of Barcelona City Council.

3rd conversation: Heraldry – Coats of arms

The trigger for this conversation will be the paradigmatic case of the redesign of the heraldic coat of arms of Barcelona City Council, which is shown in video format through the conversation between Armand de Fluvià and Claret Serrahïma, and which will have been viewed together before the conversations.

The aim is that each participant in the conversation, using his or her own expertise, will relate to the object-sample of the exhibition that is close to him or her (in this case it would correspond to: the coats of arms, both those vertebrate by heraldry and genealogy, and those that are not, for example sporting coats of arms. And also everything related to the case of the redesign of the coat of arms of Barcelona), although you can also contribute other references that you think are relevant, and dialogue.



Josep M. Palau

Josep M. Palau i Baduell (1979) holds a degree in Humanities from the Pompeu Fabra University (2002), specialising in Art History, and in Art History from the University of Barcelona (2007), specialising in Medieval Art. In 2009 he obtained the Official Master’s Degree in Medieval Cultures from the University of Barcelona with an extraordinary award and in 2016 he obtained his PhD with the thesis El obispado de Urgell al principio del siglo XIV (a través de la visita pastoral de 1312 a 1315), directed by Ignasi J. Baiges.
He has worked at the Catalan Romanesque Art Centre of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (2003-2008), where he has carried out various tasks related to the study of Catalan Romanesque art and, in particular, in the expansion of the database of early medieval religious buildings in Catalonia. He has published several studies on Catalan Romanesque art.
Since 2009 he has been a technician at the Historical and Heritage Advisory Office of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, where he carries out historical, artistic and heritage advisory tasks and coordinates various research projects in these fields. He is also in charge of the heraldic and vexillological advisory tasks prescribed by the IEC with regard to the symbols of the local authorities of Catalonia. Since 2017 he has been a member of the Board of the Catalan Institution of Genealogy and Heraldry, chaired by Armand de Fluvià.
He is associate professor of Ancient and Medieval Art in the Department of Humanities at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (since the academic year 2009-2010) and collaborating professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (from the academic year 2022-2023).

Miquel de Moragas

Miquel de Moragas (Barcelona, 1943) holds a degree in journalism from the Official School of Journalism, a degree in Philosophy and Arts from the University of Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Philosophy from the same university with a thesis on semiotics and mass communication. Subsequently, he has developed four lines of research: communication theories, communication policies, studies on sport from a cultural point of view, and communication and the city.
He is currently Honorary Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has been Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences (1978-80 and 1982-84), Vice-Rector for Research (1984-89), Director of the Institute of Communication and of the Centre for Olympic and Sports Studies at the same university.
He is a member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC).
He has participated as a semiotic advisor in several image projects for the city of Barcelona, including the signage for the Barcelona metro and projects related to the 1992 Olympic Games.
He has published several manuals on the theory and sociology of communication, and numerous studies on semiotics, communication policies, new technologies, communication and culture, such as: Semiótica i comunicació de masses (1976), Teories de la comunicació (1981), Sociologia de la comunicació (1984), Espais de comunicació (1988), Els jocs de la comunicació (Les jocs de la comunicació (Les múltiples dimensions comunicatives dels Jocs Olímpics) (1992), La televisió pública a l’era digital (2000), Interpretar la comunicació (2011), Barcelona ciutat simbòlica (2017), Els primers anys. Estudis de comunicació (2021), La comunicació i els seus canvi (2022).

Claret Serrahïma

Claret Serrahima (Barcelona, 1950) is a graphic designer with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. During his professional career he has participated in numerous projects that go beyond the tasks attributed to a graphic designer, extending into the field of the creation of cultural projects and teaching. At the same time, he is also recognised for his research into the communicative and expressive capacity of graphic creation.
He has been president of the Association of Art Directors and Graphic Designers (ADG-FAD); vice-president of the Fomento de las Artes Decorativas (FAD); professor at EINA, University Centre of Design and Art of Barcelona and vice-president of its board of trustees; member of the Board of Directors of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA); and founder of design and communication companies such as Summa Comunicación, Cortijo, Clase and Clase Mad.
He has executed cultural and corporate identity projects for public and private institutions and companies, such as Barcelona City Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona Provincial Council, El Bulli restaurant, Proa editions, La Galera publishing house, Barcelona Football Club, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, the Palau de la Música Catalana, Pompeu Fabra University, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the Ramon Llull Institute, Arts Santa Mònica and Catalunya Caixa.
He has been awarded several prizes, including the National Culture Prize 2010, the Grand Laus for Design 2013, and the Laus of Honour 2014 in recognition of his professional career. His work has been exhibited and published in several countries around the world.

Anna Majó

Anna Majó (Barcelona 1979) is a designer, teacher and researcher. Specialized in graphic design, she began her work experience in the graphic design and communication studio “Ruiz + Company”. Later he joined the studio of Yves Zimmermann and Ana Alavedra “Zimmermann Asociados”, designing and managing projects for different corporations such as Puig, Isdin, Ausonia, Aena, Restaurante Atrio, Gustavo Gili or Noel Alimentación; and, also, for different institutions such as the Bank of Spain, the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, the ICEX, the Government of La Rioja or AENA. Currently, she works as a graphic designer and also as a designer from a more expanded vision. It does so, independently, creating specific work teams for specific projects, and forming part of different studies. He works with institutional clients such as the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia – Mossos d’esquadra, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Central Design (BCD); and, also, with clients of a more commercial nature.
On the other hand, usually linked to research, he creates design projects around the idea of the construction of identities. They are projects of a collaborative nature, in which, through design processes, alternative paths and singular and inimitable identity narratives are sought and created, going beyond brands as an identifying graphic element. In these cases, design is located between research and production and is activated from transdisciplinarity.
In the field of research, she holds a PhD in Visual Arts and Education from the University of Barcelona. It tries to activate searches from the idea of Design Otherwise and with graphic design as a tool, starting from a positionally critical, dissident and intersectional. It also brings these perspectives to those investigations to which it is added. Thus, it focuses on investigating the capacity for social transformation of design, especially applied to identity aspects and in alliance with other areas such as pedagogy, anthropology, philosophy, art or politics. Currently, she is a researcher of the consolidated research group “atlas. critical intersections in education” (UAB) and the research group “Pedagogies of Design and Art” (EINA)
In the field of teaching, he has been teaching for more than fifteen years, at EINA, University Center for Design and Art attached to the UAB, in subjects of a projectual, technical-processual and foundation-context nature. Currently, he is also a teacher in the Official Master’s Degree in Research in Art and Design (MURAD) and occasionally does training mainly for teachers of compulsory training, as well as post-compulsory. Throughout all these years (and still), he has participated or promoted various initiatives around pedagogical and teaching innovation; and participates in national and international forums related to the field.