Neville Brody enthralls at sold out Penny Lecture

Yesterday the Chelsea Centre welcomed graphic design pioneer Neville Brody, who hosted a sold out Penny Lecture to sixty staff, students and members of the community.  

Brody is a highly regarded graphic designer and the founder of Brody Associates, which was established in 2014. Brody Associates has worked with major brands such as Coca-Cola, BBC, Sony Music, Christian Dior, Samsung and The Times to name a few. 

Brody has had an outstanding career working in graphic design and typography, and is known for his experimentation and pushing boundaries creatively. He has published two books that showcase his designs and unique, industry-influencing approach.  

“Graphic design is about expressing content rather than just showing it,” said the designer, as he dove into the history of graphic design, how it differs from design engineering, experimentation and highlighted inspiring insights to the attendees. 

Morley staffer Jack Glasson attended the lecture; here are his notes… 

neville brody speaking at penny lecture
Neville Brody speaking at sold out Penny Lecture at Chelsea Centre.

The journey of graphic design 

The journey of graphic design from earlier decades to the present was a focal point of the lecture, with Brody sharing what life was like for a graphic designer “pre-digital”, having to photocopy and hand-assemble his designs. 

This was eye-opening to the graphic design students who attended! 

Brody highlighted that ‘graphic engineering’ is the new term in the industry, as there is so much more to graphic design nowadays due to developments in technology. 

He spoke about the software that is used today, stating that they should be pushed to their limits to get the best outcome. 

“There are many more elements now, you are doing it all including painting, filming and designing” said Brody. 

Graphic engineering has been introduced to create a smooth journey for the viewer which incorporates storytelling. 

“How do you tell a story without telling a story?” asked Brody, leaving this as a rhetorical question for the audience to think about after the event.  

image of neville speaking
neville brody speaking at penny lecture.

Brody’s insights 

In Brody’s view, education is an important means of sparking creativity and questioning ideas: he really believes in trying out new things in education and thinks it’s okay to make mistakes.  

He highlighted that: “The key is to play around and trust the learning process, even if things don’t go as planned”. 

Brody challenges the usual way things are done in education, saying the main focus should be on personal growth and trying out new things…he says it’s not about following the rules, it’s about bringing in fresh ideas.  

“Embracing mistakes and unexpected challenges can lead to some essential and transformative experiences,” said Brody.  

Audience insights 

Jerome Eden – a Chelsea-based graphic design student – spoke highly about the lecture: “It was really cool to see Neville’s work and inspiration. It was crazy to see what graphic designers did back in the day”. 

Morley College London’s graphic designer, David Ogunyemi shared his experience: 

“Attending Neville Brody’s Penny Lecture proved to be an enriching and intellectually stimulating experience”.

“As a professional in the industry, delving into the origins, development, and current trajectory of Brody’s career was a valuable learning opportunity”.

“Getting to hear the foundational aspects and evolution of a graphic design champion was both an honour and a real delight”.

neville brody designs
Snapshot of Brody’s designs

Penny Lectures 

Makeup X Art by James Mac exhibition
James Mac

Penny Lectures give the opportunity for the Morley College London community to learn about a wide range of topics.  

Neville Brody’s was no different and shared exclusive insights into the mind of a well-respected graphic designer.  

Brody recorded a podcast with Morley Radio after the lecture, keep an eye out over the next few weeks for this! 

Register for the next Penny Lecture: In conversation with James Mac MUA here.