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Robert Brownjohn

Sex and Typography

Emily King

     7.5 × 9 in (19.1 × 22.9 cm)
Hardcover
240 pages
200 color illustrations, 55 b/w illustrations
Imprint: PAPress
Publication date: 11/1/2005
Rights: North America only
ISBN: 9781568985503


The design profession doesn't produce many larger-than-life figures. Robert Brownjohn--BJ, to just about everyone who knew him, and everyone did--was one. His gifts were immense, as were his appetites. Enfant terrible and visionary, he was both. Mick and the Stones wanted to hang with him. Of course it couldn't last. Robert Brownjohn was simply too big for this world. He died in 1970 at the age of 45, a victim of his own excesses. Today, he is best remembered for his sexy James Bond credit sequences. But Brownjohn's legacy is far more significant, and his story has all the drama and pathos of a Hollywood blockbuster. Now, for the first time, this extraordinary life and career is remembered in print, with all its richness and complexity.

Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typographytracks the story of this legend from his early years as the prized student of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy to his days as a visionary star in the New York design world of the sixties and his later years as an icon in the film and advertising world of swinging London. Robert Brownjohn illustrates the dynamic work Brownjohn produced on his own and as a cofounder of the firms Brownjohn, Chermayeff, and Geismar in New York, and Cammell, Hudson, and Brownjohn in London, including campaigns for such giants as Pirelli, IBM, and Midland Bank. Robert Brownjohn is both an inspirational monograph of creative genius and a window into the life of a Falstaffian figure who just happened to be one of the formative designers of the twentieth century.


Emily King is a writer and curator specializing in graphic design. She is the design editor of Frieze magazine and was the coauthor of Restart: New Systems in Graphic Design (2001) and editor of Designed by Peter Saville (2003). In 2002 she curated two graphic design exhibitions: Design Now: Graphics for the Design Museum, London and The Book Corner for the British Council.

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