Born 1966, Luton, UK
Lives and works in London, UK

Since graduating in 1990 from Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, Jonathan Barnbrook has developed a multifaceted practice that includes activism, graphic design, typeface design, industrial design and motion graphics. Barnbrook founded his design studio, Barnbrook, in 1990. His typefaces were first released through Californian innovators Emigre. In 1997 he established his own font company VirusFonts. In 2010, his most famous typeface Mason was released by Emigre and later became one of the first digital acquisitions of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Additionally, his stone-carving is on permanent display of the 20th century gallery in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

In 2007, his contribution to British graphic design was recognised with a major retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London entitled Friendly Fire. A monograph of his work Barnbrook Bible was simultaneously published by Booth-Clibborn Editions. In 2008 he was given an honorary doctorate by Staffordshire University for services to typography. During 2009, the exhibition Collateral Damage presented a retrospective of Jonathan Barnbrook’s more political design output. The exhibition travelled to several countries including France, Slovenia and Croatia. In 2015, he was granted the award of Honorary Fellow by Central Saint Martins in recognition of his contribution to graphic design and typography.

Barnbrook believes design shapes the way we perceive the world and can facilitate social change. In marking this responsibility, Barnbrook has art directed for the anti-corporate collective Adbusters. He participated in the First Things First 2000 Manifesto published in 1999, signed by graphic designers, students and photographers who proposed a reversal of priorities in the way graphic design was used commercially. He created a billboard in 2001 for Adbusters entitled Designers, stay away from corporations that want you to lie for them – quoting influential American graphic designer Tibor Kalman publicising the manifesto. Barnbrook has also produced many copyright-free designs for political or social justice purposes.

Jonathan Barnbrook has become very much involved with his main love of music, continuing his much-discussed album cover designs for David Bowie and collaborating on both music and visuals with John Foxx.

2014 – A World To Win, Adbusters work included in exhibition about 20th century political posters, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2013 – David Bowie Is, artistic advisor and contributor, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2011 – Mason typeface (1992) included in the Architecture and Design Permanent Collection at the Museum of Modern, MoMA, New York
2009 – Collateral Damage, Galerie Anatome, Paris (travelling exhibition)
2009 – Collateral Damage, HDLU (Hrvatsko Druatvo Likovnih Umjetnika), Zagreb, Croatia
2008 – Collateral Damage, 10th Magdalena Festival of Creative Communication, Museum of Revolution in Maribor, Slovenia (travelling exhibition)
2007 – Friendly Fire: The Work of Barnbrook Design, Design Museum, London
2005 – Friendly Fire: The Work of Barnbrook Design, DDD Gallery, Osaka, Japan
2004 – Tomorrow’s Truth: The Graphic Agitation of Jonathan Barnbrook, Seoul Arts Centre, South Korea
2004 – Friendly Fire: The Work of Barnbrook Design, Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2003 – Buy Me, Bomb Me, Rocket Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2010 – 17th Biennale of Sydney: The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Sydney, Australia
2009 – K3 _ Manifestation 1, Graphic Design & Digital Week in Lorient, France
2009 – Embedded Art, Akademie der Kunste, Berlin
2008 – The Posters of Discontent, Eastern Michigan University Art Gallery, Michigan
2007 – Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the Age of Global War, 10th International Istanbul Biennale, Turkey
Jonathan Barnbrook and Kim Ran-Young, Tomorrow’s Truth: The Graphic Agitation of Jonathan Barnbrook, Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul, 2004, Edward Booth-Clibborn (ed.), Barnbrook Bible: The graphic design of Jonathan Barnbrook, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2007 /// Steven Heller and Elinor Pettit, Jonathan Barnbrook on Experimentation, Design Dialogues, Allworth Press, New York, 1998 /// Mark Penfold, Jonathan Barnbrook, Computer Arts, issue 154, October 2008 /// Ewa Satalecka, Ju wkrótce… apokalipsa! Jonathan Barnbrook, 2+3D, no. 31, 2009