Neville Brody by Dorian Buchi

Neville Brody is a British graphic designer and typographer, one of the most famous of his generation. He was born in 1957 in London. In 75 he started a foundation course at Horsley College of art and after that a B.A in graphics at the London College of Printing.  In the end of the 70s, his work was very much inspired by the “punk” culture; he worked for the fashion and music industry and made some record cover designs for group like “Depeche Mode”[i] and “ Cabaret Voltaire”[ii]. The first real recognition of his work came when he started to work as the Art Director at the Face Magazine in 1980. He did some very revolutionary work for the Face. At the beginning his work was experimental, using his talent in typography and layout, he gave an artistic touch to Face. In his work for the Face, Neville Brody tried to use a “minimalist style”[iii] to create great graphics nonetheless. His inspirations went from Russian constructivism to punk culture in England during the 80s.  The British designer does not like to do commercial works, but in the end every magazines want to work with him, his designs have been copied everywhere and serve as model for other magazines. He is a great inspiration for his fellow graphic designers.  He was the one who introduced and made famous “the bold, typographically interesting title at the top of the page”[iv] on a photo as the background.

By introducing typefaces in his designs he became a real pioneer and finally invented his own typefaces.  Back when he was still working for magazine like the Face, he used different types of lettering on top of a photo portrait in the background for example and he managed to place the texts on top of the image without really interfering with the actual image. On most of the magazine work that Brody did, he used very simple typo and arranged them in a way that would make the page easy to understand and revolutionary at the same time.  He was able to create very interesting layouts that worked well with the background image.  Brody placed the lettering around the centre of interest of the page, so the eye is attracted to go through the entire design. For Neville Brody, the actual design doesn’t have to be just about the subject but it has a lot to do with the way the subject is presented.

From the 80s, the British designer made a radical change in his way of working and designing, he stopped using drawing as his artistic support and started to use the computer. The computer though very complicated to use, gave him the possibility to explore innovative ways to work on his design and allowed him to have new ideas.

In 1994 Neville and his partner created a design firm called “Research Studios”, with offices in Europe and North America. The firm works for clients in the publishing and film industry such as “Paramount Studio”[v] and “The Times Magazine”[vi].  He is one of the founding fathers of “FontWorks”[i] and of the “Fuse project”[ii].  The “Fuse project”, is a project to mix the graphics design and the typefaces design, which Brody’s work is all about.

Recently, his company has created a new font (Times Modern) for the “Times magazine”[i], he has also created a “Visual Identity project”[ii] for the famous ”Nuits Blanche” in Paris.












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