Reports of CGI co-founder Robinson’s sad demise

I was sorry to hear recently of the death of US corporate literature designer Bennett Robinson, best known to annual report designers here for his ground-breaking work for HJ Heinz in the late 1980s, and as co-founder of Corporate Graphics International, now called CGI.

While I was a CGI creative director in London I spent many hours on the telephone (and a few thousand miles of fax paper, this was before e-mail remember) discussing our work with him.

And although many (not least project managers and printers) found his approach somewhat challenging, over the years I developed a great respect for his skill, experience and commitment to design and production quality.

In a long professional career – with Heinz as a client for 27 years – he produced some extraordinary work in a highly pressured and commercial corner of the design industry, setting corporate literature standards on both sides of the Atlantic.

Having seen him at work earlier this year, I was impressed to find him relaxed, fit and energetically still putting in the hours at Robinson Kurtin Communications, the New York consultancy that he ran with partner Sondra.

He approached both work and leisure with the same intense commitment to quality, travelling widely.

It was on a break in Vienna in Austria that he died as a result of a traffic accident.

Jonathan Miller

Managing director

Alembic Design Consultants

London N1

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