For close to 25 years, the Designers Republic occupied a special place in the UK’s graphic design scene. Its utilitarian posters, with slogans such as ‘Work, Buy, Consume, Die’ and ‘Design Will Eat Itself’, and its record sleeves for genre-bending Warp Records artists such as Aphex Twin and Autechre, inspired generations of creatives.
Work for more mainstream artists such as Pulp and Supergrass – as well as the visual identity for the computer game Wipeout and its sequels, and dozens of major-league brands – gave the studio’s work huge exposure.
Established by Ian Anderson in 1986, the Designers Republic (tDR) was founded with the statement, “tDR is a declaration of independence from what we perceive to be the existing design community”, but its style spawned plenty of imitators.
It was one of those studios that every aspiring graphic designer dreams of working at one day, and projects such as a shop in a hip part of Tokyo selling the practice’s posters, T-shirts and other products, only cemented tDR’s position as one of the coolest studios going.
So when the studio suddenly closed its doors, in January 2009, it sent shockwaves across the design community. The same issues of cashflow and client handling that are currently at the forefront of every studio director’s mind had combined to close the studio’s doors with brutal speed. Ian Anderson explained to us what tDR was all about – and why it won’t be gone for long.
Warp Records’ website and logo were just some of the music-based projects tDR worked on – others include Pulp’s shiny logo for Different Class, Ministry of Sound, and Supergrass.
Personally I found it difficult searching for Designers Republic so do feel unable to make an opinion.