“Jonathan Barnbrook is a craftsman with a conscience: passionately committed to making a difference in the world and to making work of extraordinary beauty.” – Michael Bierut
Jonathan Barnbrook is a British Graphic Designer and Typographer. Barnbrook was born in Luton, Bedfordshire in 1966, Barnbrook attended both Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art in London. Since graduating in graphic design from Central St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art, Barnbrook has developed a number of versatile disciplines, which includes graphic design, industrial design, typeface design, film and motion graphics. He has worked with clients from Damien Hirst to the anti-corporate collective Adbusters.
Barnbrook produces copyright-free artwork that mainly highlights the political and social injustices’ of the modern world. He is unafraid to express his political viewpoint whether negative or positive, Barnbrook mentions ‘an inner anger which is a response to all the unfairness that is in this world’ is a major influence in creating his artwork and also states his ambition to use ‘design as a weapon for social change’. Barnbrooks most visible design forms are his typeface designs where he has produced his own social and political view to the world. Producing typefaces that are based on historical forms and titled in a provocative manner. Famous typefaces such as ‘Manson’ named after the American serial killer, ‘Exocet’ named after a French missile and ‘Bastard’ named after an English swear word have gained praises and criticism for his boldness of the relating the words to the letterforms. Barnbrook equally combines originality, wit, political savvy and bitter irony to make strong statements about war, international politics, corporate culture and consumerism. Jonathan Barnbrook also founded his studio in 1990 and Virus Foundry in 1997; Barnbrook Design Studios are based in Soho, London and consists of three designers and a coordinator.
Barnbrooks studio is divided between commercial work for museums, cultural institutions and non-commercial projects. Barnbrooks commercial collaborations endeavors include major corporate identities Roppongi Hills and Mori Art Museum. Barnbrook’s Design in the United Kingdom have become very well known due to collaborating with influential figures in the British art world, such as the Saatchi Gallery and he designed Damien Hirst’s book “I Want To Spend The Rest of My Life, Everywhere with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now.” Barnbrook also designed the cover artwork of David Bowie’s 2002 album ‘Heathen’ which featured the debut of his typeface ‘Priori’.
Barnbrook also collaborated in ‘First Things First 2000 Manifesto’, where graphic designers, aware of their power and influence that the message that they create can have a great impact in the mass media influenced world.
Designers, stay away from corporations that want you to lie for them;
on billboard, Las Vegas. (c) Jonathan Barnbrook, 1991
Barnbrooks non-commercial collaborations include producing artwork and art directing with ‘Adbusters’ the leading activist magazine. Barnbrook’s studio concentrates and puts great emphasize into developing and producing artwork which puts forth political and social injustices, which are offered for free and with no copyright restrictions.
Barnbrook’s collaboration with influential figures in the international art scene both commercially and non-commercially, such as the Saatchi Gallery, Damien Hirst and Adbusters, has helped him win several awards, two D&AD Awards, the Epica Grand Prix, The Tokyo Type Director’s Club Gold Prize, and the Art Director’s Club of New York Best of Show Award.His most celebrated and highly rated collaboration is his art directing in the leading activist magazine, Adbusters.
1. “Jonathan Barnbrook.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Barnbrook>
2.”Barnbrook.” Barnbrook Design. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://www.barnbrook.net/archive>
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4. “Jonathan Barnbrook” Design Museum. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://designmuseum.org/design/jonathan-barnbrook>
5. “Jonathan Barnbrook” Identifont. Web. 5 May 2010. <http://www.identifont.com/show?1HU>