Neville Brody

Unconventional graphics influenced by punk

When it becomes time to produce an 80s volume of Pioneers of Modern Typography it is possible that the British section will be a one-man show. Write “B for Brody”, large.

Martin Colyer, Blueprint, May 1985

As a young London-based designer, Neville Brody caused a stir in the typographical landscape of the 1980s, primarily through his work for the British lifestyle magazines The Face (1981-1986) and Arena (1987-1990). He developed the sans-serif typeface Industria for The Face, and also designed a string of album covers for alternative music labels, including designs for renowned pop acts such as Depeche Mode and Cabaret Voltaire. Brody has cited his primary stylistic influence as punk subculture, having transferring that movement’s non-conformist attitude into the world of graphic design. His bold, sometimes almost unreadable designs cemented his reputation as a radical force of reform in modern typography. A book of his collective designs was published in 1988 entitled The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, which has gone on to sell 120,000 copies and become a global bestseller in the process.

Together with Erik Spiekermann and Spiekermann’s wife Joan, Brody founded the digital typeface foundry FSI FontShop International in 1990 and four years later, in conjunction with his business partner Fwa Richards, he set up the London-based graphic design practice Research Studios.