Tuesday, June 5, 2007
jo 60s rob brownlow
Jo: 1960 Graphic Designer ROBERT BROWNJOHN
Robert Brownjohn was an American Graphic Designer, born in New Jersey 1925. His artistic flair was noticed and he won a scholarship to train under Laslo Moholy Nagay, Bahaus founder (Institute of Design – Chicago)
He was a successful graphic designer in New York during the 1950’s, including works for The American Crafts Museum, Columbia Records and Pepsi-cola. Robert also designed the American Jazz Annual 1956 for American Jazz Festival in Newport and the US Pavilion for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.
Robert, and business partners Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar formed the advertising agency BCG in 1957. Robert’s drug problem caught up with him and he not only left the company in 1960; he also moved to London with his wife and child and infused the British graphic industry with a fresh approach towards the movement of the 60s with a modernist approach.
Robert worked for other advertising agencies for a while. His creative flair led to the formation of a film company with producer David Cammell and director Hugh Hudson. The transition to film seemed natural. Once again the influence of his protégé Maholy Nagay and in simplistic form, used light juxapositions of typography and image designed the opening titles for the James Bond movie “From Russia With Love” in 1963 and “Goldfinger” in 1964. He also designed the “Obsession and Fantasy” poster for the Robert Fraser Gallery of London. This provocative poster uses the breast of a woman and font to spell the word obsession, using the nipples for the letter o.
In 1965 the company begins work on a series of cinema commercials for the Midland Bank called ‘Money Talks’. Robert also creates the titles for the Hugh Hudson film ‘The tortoise and the Hare’ commissioned by Pirelli Tyres.
Another well-known piece of Robert’s work is the Rolling Stones 1968 record album ‘Let it Bleed’. This is also the year Robert begins his short acting career. 1969 saw “Cammell, Hudson & Brownjohn” disbanded and Robert joined partnership with Japanese-American director, David Nagata and “Nagata & Brownjohn” was formed. It was also during this year he designed the ‘pea ?’ poster for the American Peace Movement and was his last piece of work as he died of a heart attack at the young age of 45.