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Neville Brody and the Fact of Typography Essay (Article)

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Updated: Sep 21st, 2021

Introduction

Current research deals with analysis of modern typographic practices based on thorough examination of typographer’s work. We choose a famous designer and typographer Neville Brody who was among the founding father of Fontworks and created some of the most beautiful and exciting projects for them.

There is no denying the importance of the fact that in our analysis of his work we focus on content of his work, techniques he uses and the process which comes about. It is important to analyze what purposes does modern typography serves and modern trends are the most characteristic of it. The analysis will be supported by the description of various pieces of designer’s work such as typefaces, posters and typographic projects.

Neville Brody and typography

There is no denying the importance of the fact that typography was is deeply tied with all forms of graphic design and is often based on its new approaches and techniques. This is what Bringhurst means when he says that without appropriate design development (2002). For instance, Neville Brody is a renowned specialist in the design of the typeface which is a united set of various glyphs which are designed to meet the standards of the stylistic unity.

A typeface comprises of various symbols, letters, signs etc. which make typographical products look better. Neville Brody is famous for creating many new typefaces and fonts including Autotrace, FF Blur, FF Dirty 1, Insignia, Industria, FF Harlem etc. All these fonts are characterized with innovativeness and great use of various new approaches to design.

For instance, Arcadia borrows many specific elements from Art Deco and various non-Western styles. This and other typefaces and fonts design received the international recognition and popularity for their computer orientation, innovativeness and flexibility.

Neville Brody’s approach to design can be characterized as great combination of precision and using high-tech content and computer graphics with utilizing premodern graphical science like Chinese hieroglyphs and mystical symbols.

Brody’s approach to design may be characterized as creative use of visual communication techniques and active use of graphic background as the tool for forming audience relation to and perception of image of graphic design. Unlike other designers which are following some standard techniques Neville Brody’s approach to design is experimental which is aimed at creating effective communicational language which can be used in many spheres including advertising.

Some of Neville Brody’s design projects which can be found on the site of his company called Research Studios stun with great combination of colors, meaning and graphical elaboration. There is no denying the importance of the fact that these all could be achieved only by great combination of skills and effectiveness of techniques (Research Studios, 2008).

Take the image which was initially placed in Fuse magazine, also a Brody’s project which advertises the third forum of innovative typography (Fuse Image, 2008). Its background is plainly black which although has some blurred blue checkered form on its right. In the foreground we can see the text of advertisement which is produced using innovative font designed by Neville Brody. The foreground contains also big white number 3 which is designed unevenly and discretely (with ruptures).

The logo ‘Fuse’ is inserted in between this number. Taken as a whole this image presents intact unity where colors fit each other and graphical elements are combined for the proper video communication. There is nothing unnecessary in this design picture and this makes it so relevant and captivating.

There is no denying the importance of the fact that these thought-out design practices are connected with thorough work and great care for the clients of Brody’s company.

It also can be proved by the specific role of typography which Neville was greatly interested in developing advertising. Typefaces are often used to draw specific attention to a certain advertisement, using different fonts and colors help settle visual communication between typographic product and its readers. Shapes, images and their constellation also contribute to the intact structure of design.

As it was noted above Neville Brody pays great attention to combining theoretical and practical design work. The best manifestation of it is his FUSE projects which were an interesting fusing between graphic design, theoretical work, typeface design and developing magazines. Each magazine includes many articles on design and typography, brand new fonts with detailed descriptions of their design and structure, several posters and other graphic materials.

Besides this, Neville Brody is famous for creating intriguing designs for two most popular British newspapers such as The Observer and the Guardian. These designs contributed to effective advertising practice of these newspapers and their corresponding magazines.

To sum it up, Neville Brody made significant contribution to typography, design and advertising. In typography he is renowned for creating new approach to visual communication which places more emphasis on the ways of graphics, fonts and images perception by the audience. He also is focused not on creating samples but on experimenting with colors, fonts etc.

What concerns design projects, Neville Brody combines simplicity with innovativeness and using high-tech images. As our analysis of one of his design works shows his undertakings are characterized by great unity which however is premised on difference and using experimental techniques. In our view these factors contribute to a Brody’s great role in design movement and its progress.

References

Bringhurst, Robert (2002). The Elements of Typographic Style. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks.

Fuse Image by Neville Brody. Web.

Research Studios. Neville Brody. Web.

Wozencroft J. (2002).The Graphic Language of Neville Brody. University Publishing.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Neville Brody and the Fact of Typography." September 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/neville-brody-and-the-fact-of-typography/.

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