The Designers Republic Closes Down
The news of iconic UK graphic design firm The Designers Republic (tDR)‘s closing has been rippling through the industry for the past few weeks. Creative Review was the first to break the news last month. tDR were considered by many to be one of the most influential graphic design studios of the past 20 years. tDR’s early output got a lot of attention because of the use of brand parody. Co-founder Ian Anderson, who had no formal training in graphic design, took the classic agency approach to branding and mashed it together with pop culture influences, japanese manga, videogames, and techno music. The firm created album cover campaigns for bands like Pop Will Eat Itself that came off looking more like creative work for a mutated multinational corporation than typical band artwork.
The firm established itself with their large body of work for Warp Records. It’s hard to tell with some Warp releases where tDR stops and the music begins. Warp was the perfect place for tDR to experiment with all sorts of design ideas. They created everything from a mock brand guidleine for Funkstörung to abstract architectural art for the Warp Classics albums. tDR’s work was as much a spoof of design as it was a barometer of where the cutting edge of graphic art was headed.
For more on The Designers Republic, read Creative Review’s recent article on their history.