Jonathan Barnbrook, the designer behind David Bowie’s first studio album for 7 years is to speak at the Liverpool Designival next week.

bowieHis studio in London works on graphic design, typeface design and motion graphics for a diverse range of clients from Damien Hirst to Adbusters.

It was his surprising choice to mark the return of David Bowie without including an image of the artist himself, instead just “The Next Day” in the typeface, Doctrine.

“People expected to see an image of a popstar but he had been been out of the public eye for 10 years,” explained Barnbrook.

“With David Bowie, it had to reflect the album. It is not backward looking. He wants to surprise.”

As for just using a typeface:

“It’s the visual language. The spirit of the age. There are not enough typefaces – it’s a valid cultural form.”

The event is part of the Liverpool International Festival for Business and Barnbrook will be speaking alongside Harry Pearce from Pentagram, Morag Myerscough, Jonathan Sands from Elmwood and Tom Evans.