A student and two teachers from LABASAD have won the Junceda 2023 awards

The winners of the 21st edition of the Junceda awards, a prestigious prize in the field of illustration, were recently announced and we have some spectacular news to share with you.

Michele Sclafani, a LABASAD student, was the winner in the scientific category, Olga Capdevila, professor of the Online Master in Editorial and Advertising Illustration, was the winner in the animation category and Helena Sbeghen, professor of the Online Master in Editorial and Advertising Illustration, was the winner for the book cover category. On the other hand, Martín Tognola, also a professor at LABASAD, received a nomination in the animation category.

The Junceda Awards were created in 2003 with the aim of acknowledging and highlighting the discipline of illustration in all its areas of application. The dissemination of these awards promotes the knowledge of illustration to the general public, from the traditional point of view as well as it’s application through new technologies. There is no other award in Spain that awards prizes of these characteristics in all areas of illustration.

Michele’s winning illustration was created for the cover of the scientific journal “Chem Catalysis”, a magazine specialising in chemical catalysis experiments and aimed at an audience of scientific experts. The idea of the project was to move away from the usual didactic representation in this type of magazine and create an image that would be interesting for both the scientific community and the general public.

This cover depicts the main result of a computational chemistry study: the inhibitory action of the drug remdesivir on the cell replication process of the coronavirus.

“This recognition has a very special value. As I explained during the ceremony, as a physicist turned illustrator, it shows that the proposal of an illustrated science (understood as an alternative to scientific illustration), that is, a combination between the metaphorical language of illustration and scientific rigour, represents a valid and fascinating way to talk about science. Professionally, I hope that this award will be a starting point, as it is currently pushing me to work on my first personal project”

Illustration by Michele Sclafani for the cover of Chem Catalysis

“I consider that the teachings of the master’s degree were fundamental to motivate me to submit my work to the award and, above all, crucial to define and defend in a clearer and more concrete way the conceptual aspect of my proposal. Specifically, the work done with the professors in the conceptualization of our graphic proposal is one of the highlights of the entire master’s degree for me.”

Illustration by Michele Sclafani for the cover of Chem Catalysis
Illustration by Michele Sclafani for the cover of Chem Catalysis

In the animation category, the winning project was ‘Porta Oberta’, an experimental project by Olga Capdevila and Alba Prado. It is an animation that accompanies the first single from the album ‘Font Gelada’ by the composer Ernest Crusats. It is an experimental project carried out in stop-motion, painted with oil paint on glass plates and acetate sheets.

This project seeks to recover more traditional animation techniques, using analogue resources that are converted into an audiovisual piece.

The final video was made from small short GIFs that together make up the piece. The story is based on a visit, from one person to another, who have not seen each other for a long time. The challenge was not to put humans, but to tell this story through landscapes, objects and interiors of a house.

Fragment of the video clip Ernest Crusats – “Porta Oberta”.
Olga Capdevila with Alba Prado in the middle of the project.

Additionally, another of the nominees in the animation category is Martín Tognola, professor of the Animated Press subject, within the Online Master Online en Ilustración Editorial y Publicitaria.

Martín is nominated for “Baúl de bulos”, a weekly column published in La Vanguardia, written by the Irishman John Wilkinson, where Martín makes the animated GIFs. These articles revolve around lies and deception based on historical facts, news, politics, economics, etc.

Project by Martin Tognola for La Vanguardia
Project by Martin Tognola for La Vanguardia

“Being a finalist in the Junceda awards is a great joy and an important recognition from people in the sector, colleagues and great professionals”

Project by Martin Tognola for La Vanguardia
Project by Martin Tognola for La Vanguardia

In the Book Cover category, the winner was Helena Sbeghen who created a dust jacket for the cover of a reprint of Oliver Twist, a classic by Charles Dickens. The book was published in 2022 by Editorial Panda Books (Brazil) and is part of a collection of literary classics, with graphic design by Casa Rex studio (Brazil).

“I am very happy to be a finalist for a prize in Catalonia. I’m Brazilian, I’ve been living and working in Barcelona for six years and I’ve never been nominated for an award before. Being a finalist alongside so many other brilliant artists makes me feel that all my professional work was worth it”.

Helena Sbeghen, teacher of the Online Master in Editorial and Advertising Illustration is a finalist in the Book Cover category.

The dust jacket, printed double-sided, was designed to have a fold that creates different patterns. At first, these patterns appear abstract, and gradually, as the fold is unravelled, two images emerge representing parts of the story.

Both illustrations have elements that refer to life in London in the 17th century. Helena looked for inspiration in the patterns of William Morris, an English artist (as well as Dickens) who developed his work at a time quite close to the year the book was published.


Congratulations again to all the winners of the Junceda Awards.

If you want to know more about LABASAD’s Online Masters, send us an email to [email protected] and ask for more information about all our Online Masters.