A few years ago they didn’t exist. Now any creative department worth its
weight in salt has a head of advertising design like WCRS’s Barry Brand.
‘I oversee all the press and poster work here,’ he explains.
Brand continues: ‘Head of typography would be too narrow a description
of my position, it’s a far bigger job than that. However, it’s not head
of art either, because I don’t tend to get involved with commercials
A graduate of the London College of Printing, where he studied design
for print, the 31-year-old Brand has worked as a typographer at many of
London’s top agencies, including Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Simons Palmer
Denton Clemmow and Johnson and Young and Rubicam. And wherever he’s
worked, he’s tried to push the possibilities of typography, elevating it
from an also-ran to a creative medium in its own right.
Brand moves fluently from hi-tech to low-tech, unleashing the latest
post-modernist typefaces from his Apple Macintosh, but commissioning
traditional signwriters if the job demands it - as with the Simons
Palmer client, the National Railway Museum.
‘There are a flood of exciting new typefaces on the market,’ he
explains. ‘Even so, I tend to tinker with them to make them my own.’
A campaign for Jose Cuervo tequila, for example, gave Brand a rare, but
legitimate, opportunity to unleash Priska Little Creatures - an off-the-
shelf typeface consisting of fish, fowl and curious anthropomorphic
A recent fold-out press ad for Orange allowed him to go wild with mutant
type, which was outputed on to transparent cels and then photographed
under coloured gels. This level of typographic expression is rare, but
the kind of challenge he relishes.
WCRS’s head of advertising design is increasingly applying his knowledge
of type to commercials, researching the do’s and don’ts at post-
production houses such as Rushes and the Mill. ‘It’s still a neglected
area,’ he maintains.
It’s no wonder Brand has such a broad job description.