Emily King
Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2005, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
ISBN: 9781568985503

From the Publisher. 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 Typography tracks 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 20th century.

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Ken Carbone

Brownjohn’s career lasted only a little over 20 years (he died in 1970 at age 44), but in it he attained a notorious position in design and advertising, bridging the fields of still and moving imagery. Best known for his sexy title sequences for the Bond films “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger,” he also produced influential work when he was in partnership with Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar in the 1950s. This monograph on his life and work, thickly illustrated in black-and-white and color, traces the cult designer’s story decade by decade and piece by piece.

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