Excerpts from an interview with Max Robinson by Mimmo Cozzolino and John Nowland, published in 2010 on the occasion of his induction into the AGDA Hall of Fame.
Talented, quixotic, jovial, loveable, intelligent, gracious, curious, gregarious, humble. “A really good man is known by three qualities: generosity in the design, humanity in the execution and moderation in the success.” (Bismarck)
Max studied for a year at art school and then got a job washing brushes at Clemengers. He was then apprenticed to Max Forbes after Forbes and Peter Clemenger saw some of Max junior’s signed posters in the window of Meadmore’s Model Shop (Clem Meadmore’s father) on their way to the theatre.
After serving duty, the following year Max junior began freelancing, and then shortly thereafter decided, like everyone else it seems, to go to London.
Max worked in London for 12 years, married, made a family. He was influenced by place, people, attitudes and the rich, diverse, bohemian style of London to the timely discipline of the Swiss school. This was all blended and pureed then simplified with Max’s quality, care and touch.
Max listened, worked and experienced London, he savoured and contributed all he could, but with a young family, Australia called.
In London Max worked for Avis, designing displays, calendars, posters, brochures, for BOAC airlines, Trust Houses Forte, Caledonian Airlines, Stamps of the World, Quant, Qantas and more.
In Australia: World Record Club, Melbourne Film Festival, Reserve Bank, Global Funds Management, Department of Trade, BHP, Western Mining, Esanda, Yulara, Hospitals of Australia, Colonial Mutual Life, Alcoa, Spotless, Gribbles, Nurses Board of Victoria and more. Max has also designed money, the $10 note.
When asked how he would like to be remembered professionally, Max replied, “An artist, an artist of some quality, and a good bloke!… I’d like to be remembered as somebody who understood quality and could practice it. Quality is everything; communication, making, thought, relationships, art …”
Max’s passion for art, design, writing, conviviality and his unwavering optimism is a testament to the man. He listens, he sees and he shares. His talent/skill both as an artist and designer are acknowledged and respected as a visual communicator.