Peter Brawne is an independent graphic designer and partner in Matter, a design group of one plus the occasional collaborator. Matter works predominantly – though not exclusively – producing printed matter for a variety of organisations and individuals. Early on, Peter got a sense of the principles of printing through working in a small screen-printing workshop producing posters for fly-posting. Later, but before the Apple computer, Peter learned paste-up through making ‘artwork’ with galleys of golfball-derived text, scalpel, Cow gum, Letraset and a Rotring pen. Later still, he worked at the London Borough of Hackney as its lead designer and then Windhorse Associates, a graphic design co-operative. He was instrumental in setting up the design discussion group 032 which held frequent meetings between 1986 and 1988. In 2000 he exhibited specially commissioned work for the touring exhibition Look Out: art/society/politics.Within 115 he has collaborated with the artist Cleo Broda, fellow designer Katherine Gillieson (both now ex-115), the artist Aileen Harvey, Simon Jones (furniture, exhibitions, architecture), the publisher Robin Kinross and the designer/maker partnership of Dan Monck and Duncan Kramer. In 2012 he worked again with Robin Kinross and designer/editor Daniel Poyner on a book now published by Hyphen Press [available from bookshops or direct from Hyphen Press]. More recently he began working with Anne Odling-Smee, graphic designer and fellow co-op member on a number of different projects.
Clients include arts bodies, publishers, educational institutions, local authorities, trade unions and charities as well as photographers, artists, architects, writers and furniture-makers. Rather than imposing an unsuitable ‘style’ or æsthetic, Matter suggests what seems right. Avoiding the faddish or fashionable, Matter attempts to produce design solutions appropriate to need and context. A Matter touchstone is faith in the organising power of typography to explain. Another is a belief that means are as important as ends. Experience suggests this happens most rewardingly through partnership between designer and client. And Matter always keeps the intended audience uppermost in mind. This can best be achieved by intelligence and meticulous attention to all the details, both large and small of every project. From the choice of typeface and the space between letters to the material the thing is printed on; from careful email exchanges to a call to check that the completed job arrived on time.