work. buy. consume. die.
January 25, 2009 9:40 AM   Subscribe

UK design studio The Designers Republic has apparently gone out of business after 23 years.

Highly visible throughout the 1990's and early 2000's, tDR's work tended towards flashy, blocky shapes, tech-heavy styling and deconstructed images that spawned a host of imitators and influenced the look of the early phase of the web. Perhaps best known for their work on the Wipeout series of games, it was tDR's close association with fellow Sheffield residents and electronic music purveyors Warp Records that gave them heavy exposure to a generation of consumers and produced some of their most memorable designs.

Some images from the Designers Republic(mostly album covers, as it's the easiest to link to):

Aphex Twin - On EP
Autechre - Basscad EP
Autechre - Chiastic Slide
Autechre - Envane
Autocreation - Mettle
B12 - Time Tourist
tDR in Emigre Magazine
Fluke - Risotto
Gas - 0095
Joey Beltram - Caliber EP
LFO - Advance
Locust - Weathered Well
Plaid - Spokes
Pop Will Eat Itself - This Is The Day...This Is The Hour...This Is This!
Seefeel - Starethrough EP
Speedy J - Krekc
Sweet Exorcist - C.C.C.D.
Various Artists - Blech
Various Artists - Blech II
Various Artists - em:t1197
Various Artists - Ischemic Folks
Various Artists - We Are Reasonable People
Wipeout 3
Woob - 1194

If you hurry, you might still be able to score some tDR goodies from thepeoplesbureau online shop.
posted by 40 Watt (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
oh no! i love them! their issue of emigre was uh-mazing! awww!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:55 AM on January 25, 2009

If you hurry, you might still be able to score some tDR goodies from thepeoplesbureau online shop.

Or not, actually. Looks like that site hasn't been updated in a while.
posted by 40 Watt at 10:03 AM on January 25, 2009

I can't think of any designers of the past 20 years who haven't been influenced by DR, either as a positive or negative example. Their effect on media graphics can't be underestimated [insert squared-off arrow pointing down and left]. It's sad to see 'em go, but Anderson's been thinking on his feet for decades now and I trust something good will come of this eventually. I look forward to what he'll do next.
posted by ardgedee at 10:06 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Total bummer. WipeOut was the reason I bought a PlayStation, due in large part to tDR's design. At the time I didn't even realize I had already been exposed to their work via their PWEI and Age of Chance album art.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:15 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

And now I have to dig out my copy of 3D 2D (#60 of 1400!).
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:21 AM on January 25, 2009

Whaaaaaa..... noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on January 25, 2009

Yeah, the visual design on Wipeout has always been fantastic. A big part of the appeal. (OTOH, I went back to the original Wipeout recently, and while the interfaces look good they are not very . . . usable.)
posted by grobstein at 10:27 AM on January 25, 2009

I wish they'd given the Olympics to these guys. Imagine if it all looked like Wipeout. Instead it looks like Tiswas ft Knob Gobbling Lisa Simpson
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:28 AM on January 25, 2009

I was a big fan of their clip for Funkstorung's Grammy Winners back in the day.
posted by sektah at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2009

tDR ate itself.
posted by jackiemcghee at 11:32 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

They'll get a dot from me, because it is a bit sad, but this has been a long time coming. Their designs are always a bit too zeitgeisty for their own good, and consequently tend to age poorly and quickly. Their archive is telling me to download Flash 5. *sigh*

posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on January 25, 2009

Work • Buy • Consume • Die
posted by infinitewindow at 1:30 PM on January 25, 2009

Hmph. Should have looked at the post title.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:31 PM on January 25, 2009

posted by runehog at 1:50 PM on January 25, 2009

Ahead Of Their Time, Behind On Their Bills.™

I'll miss them.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:46 PM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

True story: I bought Autechre - Chiastic Slide solely because I liked the Designer's Republic cover art. Turns out to be one of my favourite albums and one of my favourite genres of music, all discovered thanks to their anti-typography.
posted by Nelson at 7:29 PM on January 25, 2009

Wha? Crazy - I haven't ever been a designer in a time when there was no Designers Republic.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 6:05 AM on January 26, 2009

Guess you are now.

BIG fan of DR for years thanks to their work w/ the Orb, etc.

But like others have said their time seemed to have passed - I found the deconstruction stuff very wanting and the re-sampling of re-sampling got a bit tired.

I still like them better than Fairey though.
posted by gnash at 7:48 AM on January 26, 2009

A fitting tribute from Mike at Build can be found here.
posted by jackiemcghee at 8:50 AM on January 26, 2009

I loved their stuff, years ago. Does a design studio ever ulitmately benefit from be(com)ing a brand, though?
posted by 4eyes at 11:31 AM on January 26, 2009

posted by dabcad at 5:28 PM on January 26, 2009

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