The Main Influences on the work of Neville Brody – ESSAY


Neville Brody

Neville Brody was born in Southgate, in London on 23rd April 1957. For his education, he had attended Michenden school and studied A Level Art, as you can tell, he had started his artistic route quite young. In 1975 Neville Brody went on to do a 3 years course in a Fine Art foundation course and is now a full degree graduate at Hornsey College of Art which is now known to be part of Middlesex University in Hendon. I am going to be talking about the types of topics, styles, genres, artists, and designers that influences Neville Brody to do what he does to this day and will also be looking into what he is influenced by, to see how he gets his ideas and why they could possibly inspire him to do what he does. From briefly looking at pieces of his work before looking into it in more depth, I personally, really like the style of his work as I am really interested in the typography side of Graphic Design and how hierarchy is used strongly, to show more interesting or important pieces of text. I also like the use of colour he uses aswell and think that his work is very inspiring to me as an individual because of how simplistic, yet effective everything is and how it all works well together as an outcome. Being an inspiration to me, I based one of my projects on typography and looked at previous work that he had done, and based my designs using his style of work, and it turned out very well overall. Below is one of Neville Brody’s pieces of work that I used for my main inspiration for my designs. I love the way that the colours contrast with each other and I also like the brand he designed for which could get him more known because to me, Nike is a very large and successful brand to work with. What interests me, is that he plays with the text and uses the actual word to create a movement or look to the word such as “bounce” because it is placed as if something was bouncing which makes Neville Brody’s work unique and that helps him become who he his and his own individual thinker.

Nike poster

     He is said to be the best known graphic designer of his generation, specialising in typography. He studied Graphic Design at the London College of Printing and made his way into the public eye through his record cover designs and his involvement in the British independent music scene in the early 1980s, however while studying there, he was always criticised due to his creative mind and how well he thinks. In the 1980s also, Brody went on to work at “The Face Magazine”, which was a well known magazine in the in that time period. To many people it was known as

 The Fashion Bible

When he worked for them, he gained a fair amount of attention based on his work which started him off.

he began experimenting with the beginnings of a new visual language that consisted of a mixture of visual and architectural elements…

After leaving that job, in 1993 he decided to create his own studio “Neville Brody Studio” and that has become a global success to be known all over. I know this because there are studios in London, Paris, Barcelona, Tokyo and Berlin to name a few. Neville Brody had lots of new ideas on combining typefaces into design and even better, he then took this a step further and began designing his own typefaces. Throughout Neville’s career he has brought into the design industry, over 20 different typefaces. A few of the typefaces he designed are:

  • Arcadia
  • Industria
  • Insignia
  • FF Pop
  • FF GothicTypefaces

One of the influences that Neville Brody has, is Punk, I know this because, by 1977 punk rock started to have a major effect in London where Neville studied and, while this had an impact upon his work and motivation, it was not well received by his tutors, as at one point during that time,

he was almost thrown out of the college for putting the Queen’s head sideways on a postage stamp design…

In spite of the postage stamp drama, Neville Brody was not only motivated by punk, he has been known to have influences from Dadaism and pop art. As Brody likes the technique used in Dadaism, he designs a lot of his work in similar ways to that style to this day, I think this because Dadaism can be typographic based and they seem to use text heavy designs with geometric and abstract images or shapes like Neville Brody himself. It seems to be quite clear that Dadaism was an influence to him, because of the obvious similarities in their work. Even though, they use text heavy based work and Neville Brody used Dadaism as an inspiration, each piece of work has a personality element to them, which separates the two styles, so they are seen as individual designs. Another one of Neville brody’s influences was clearly, Pop art because when I look at some of Neville Brody’s work, there are elements shown that pop art is an influence in his life to this day aswell. A majority of his work consists of vibrant colours and boldness which is noticed very strongly in Pop Art pieces of work. I believe that Pop art has most definitely helped him find his type of style that he enjoys doing and has given him more of a chance to develop his work and give it all a personality including small elements of his most loved influences and inspirations. To do that I think Pop Art gave him the freedom to experiment with a variety of colour and styles to make his work to a superb standard, the way it looks today.

Both influences, Dadaism and Pop art have made a great and positive impact in Neville Brody’s work and life making him, exactly who he is today and also making his work the way it looks, keeping it to a good standard, which has helped him become a world known graphic designer in typography. I’m sure that Neville is overly thankful for his opportunity that he has had having these designs influence him at this time, because things could possibly have been different if punk and pop art wasn’t as popular in the time that he was studying. What if they weren’t  Would there be such an amazing typography graphic designer if pop art and punk didn’t become known at that time period?

Everything happens for a reason…



7 thoughts on “The Main Influences on the work of Neville Brody – ESSAY

  1. Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  2. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you

  3. Pingback: The Great Neville Brody | nmckailee

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