The Designers Republic Is Dead; Long Live The Designers Republic

After 23 years of brain-aided communication, the much-admired, much copied studio, The Designers Republic closed for business on Tuesday. But, as its founder Ian Anderson tells CR, it will rise again

After 23 years of brain-aided communication, the much-admired, much copied studio, The Designers Republic closed for business on Tuesday. But, as its founder Ian Anderson tells CR, it will rise again

All week, rumours have been flying around the internet that DR had gone out of business. CR can confirm that it is true. On Tuesday this week, the business was closed with nine staff being made redundant. According to its founder, Ian Anderson, the studio became insolvent due to a combination of factors: “We’d lost a couple of clients, didn’t win a couple of pitches, got a tax bill which should have been sorted out and wasn’t and a major client who didn’t pay the money they owed us – in themselves any of those things would have been fine but when they come all at once there’s not much you can do.”

However, while stressing that he is “gutted for the staff” and not wishing in any way to make light of the impact the studio’s closure will have on them, Anderson says that, in some ways, DR coming to an end “may be a blessing in disguise.”

“It hasn’t really been DR for the last two or three years: it had gone too far from what it was supposed to be,” Anderson says. Although, he says, he was happy with the “insightful” work that DR had done for major clients such as Coca-Cola, moving into that world had necessitated changing the business to more of an agency model with the added structure of account handlers that entails. He also says that it became necessary to take on the kind of work that he perhaps wouldn’t have chosen to do in order to keep a larger business going.

“I want to go back to what DR was,” he says of future plans. “Working hands-on and not through account managers. I’ve never liked that agency model – it’s not where creativity lies. DR accidentally ended up there in order to service bigger clients. I’m not being ungrateful to the people who ran the business side at DR – it wasn’t their fault. I’m glad we did it – it took getting there to make me realise that it wasn’t where I wanted to be.”

So what now? Today, he says, he is busying himself “lobbing out 23 years worth of paper samples, which is quite therapeutic”. Then there’s the long-awaited DR book, which he might finally get round to finishing, as well as another book which he is collaborating on with writer Liz Farrelly. “It does feel like the end of an era but really it stopped being DR two or three years ago. DR will go forward after this with me [under the same name] – whether it will be with a new team and a new office I don’t know.”

Anderson says that, for now, he wants to look at working collaboratively with other companies and creative people.

“I’m looking out the window and it’s a lovely sunny day – as it always is in Sheffield – and I think there are a lot of plus points. The Republic is dead… long live the Republic”

  • James

    I can’t believe it. I just visited The Designers Republic website wondering when the new version would go live.

    It’s a sad end for such a great British design house.

  • Simon Coxon

    I was on their site yesterday. One of my favourite design agencies.


  • Tim Spencer

    Nice outlook on the whole situation. Hard for the people who lost their jobs though but it seems like it was the inevatble conclusion. At least this way DR doesn’t spend too long in a ‘fat Elvis’ state. Look forward to seeing what comes next.

  • John Instruct

    Really sad news and I feel for the staff who have lost their jobs first and foremost. tDR were instrumental to me when I was a design student and I have been lucky enough to work with them at my last position.

    The legacy of tDR are the designers that have left the agency and have evolved into something much more than tDR could of become: Michael C Place, Matt Pyke, Sanderson Bob, Trevor, David Bailey & later ‘graduates’ such as Martin Fewell.

    All amazing designers and a testament to how good the water must be up in Sheffield!

  • Michael C Place

    Sad news indeed, i was as shocked as everyone else when the news came in. Hats off to Ian for keeping tDR at the top of the game for as long as they have. It seems like an absolute age since i first set foot in the old office in Sidney Street with the cold as ice in Winter/hot as a bastard in Summer windows (i would still like to know who s**t in the corridor), the trips to Eric’s and the pint of laughing brew in The Rutland. The hard work, the sense of isolation and the f**k you attitude of The Republic at that time made for a brilliant atmosphere and even better work.

    (along with The Harlequin) Rest in Peas™ tDR™


  • Alex Peterson

    tDR were one of the main design houses that got ME into design in the first place! I’m in shock. I remember like it was yesterday when I was flicking through a copy of Computer Arts magazine (issue 1 or 2 i think) in awe of their fine work! I run my own design business so am even more amazed that someone as ‘big’ as tDR has been forced close it’s doors! Scary.

  • Neil

    Such a shame but from Ian’s words it may be a case of taking a step back to allow The Republic to move forward again. You’ve got to feel for those who now find themselves without jobs but hopefully having tDR on their CV’s will see them all in work soon – or maybe we will see the next generation of Build/Sanderson Bob/Kiosk/Human springing up.

    Long live The Republic

  • Paul West

    23 years of constant inspiration… Warp, Gatecrasher, Wipeout (the only reason why I bought a PS) – we salute you DR

  • Graham Sanders

    I look forward to the release of the book but at the same time wish all the staff that were redundant the best in seeking new positions.

    I hope the situation with the ‘major’ client is resolved asap.

    Good luck…

  • Fei

    I guess tDR needs an rebirth… Hope this won’t take too long…

  • grebo guru


    I spent days painting the ‘def con one’ graphics onto my leather jacket ( it didn’t look very good, my shaky hands couldn’t quite capture those fhand vectors… ) and i put a ‘sample it fuck it and eat it’ sticker on my car, i was stopped by the police ( i was innocent ) they told me i had to remove it, as it was offensive!!!

    i rebelled like the a true tdr fan, and didn’t take it off, i just put on my leather jacket and left them in the dust ( slowly drove away ) in my 1983 citreon visa.

    i was a soft southern 6th former, trying to look like a greasy grebo from birmingham, all thanks to tdr

    i love my designers republic.

  • Tom Lardner

    I remember us all pawing over their edition of Emigre at Uni like it was a document from another planet. It changed the way we all designed overnight and signposted the way for a new digital era of design.

  • Tabrez Ahmad

    TDR – Adventures In and Out of Trouble.

    Such sad news, but looking forward to the return.

  • Steve Fenn

    Designers Republic was one of the first agencies that attracted me to graphic design when I was on my foundation. Their combined approach of style/ideas/and vibrance and general all round originality made me realise that exciting visual possibilites were available in a commercial design world. Sad to hear but cant wait to see any new work!

  • Pablo

    acid house is dead

  • Adam

    Best of luck to Ian and the crew. Thanks for the inspiration over the years. Your work changed the way I see the visual world. Much respect. Looking forward to what comes next!

  • sp

    so, does this mean my tdr book is worth something? :)

    seriously, tdr is a wonderful house, and i wish them all luck. they’re innovation will be missed.

  • Dav(id Hubner)

    Sad news, indeed.

    Strange thing is, I finally framed/hang up the ‘tDR/Sissy’ page from the G1 book, today (!), hours before I read this post. Why? Because this very poster(s) and the early (art)works by tDR were essentially what brought me to design, back then. (

  • Design Critic

    Jesus. You couldn’t make it up. Designers do really live in a warped world. People lost their jobs, big recession on the way, and Anderson makes light of it all with the remark that it is sunny outside his window. I’ll bet it is, and I’ll bet he’ll be ok for cash. I hope his employees are enjoying their sun too whilst claiming the dole and trying to figure out how to meet mortgage/credit card/gas bills. Bet they were impressed that the moron in charge couldn’t work out how to organise his finances and that’s why they are living on Tesco value food now.

  • da bishop

    9 staff costs quite a bit per month. The studio costs the same on top. Tax for 1 year on the income required to pay for all of that… these are not the sorts of sums that people have just knocking around in the pockets.

    The credit crunch, a commercial mass extinction.

  • Andy

    Acid house lives! A sad day for all involved but I’m sure with DR credentials no one will be outta work for long, such is the caliber of the work in my humble opinion. NY Sushi flyers rocked!! not to mention a few other bits n bobs.

    Goes to show just how fragile a business (or even a life) can be. Tax bill & and some c**t overstretching themselves at the detriment to the guys that did the hard work…know it…lived it.

    Mr Anderson…you got the right attitude…dust off and pick up : )

  • Scotty

    The Hole in the Road, The Cooling Towers, The Designers Republic. Another one of Sheffield’s icons has gone.

    A sad day indeed:(

  • mark rushworth

    ive every sympathy with ian as my little studio went through similar trials.

    all i can suggest is to design to be happy, not for profit (tho getting paid is nice) it will be refreshing for ian to start again without the monkey on his back of being a large business and luckily for him the name will endure.

    ian if you’re reading this gimme a call if you need any great SEO on the cheap


    screw em!

  • Andy

    Oo..Ooo..Just one other (quite anorakish) NYSushi thing…I totally clocked the use of the Hong Kong based Garden Bakery ‘chef device’ in the NYSushi logo…I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest for years!! ; )

  • yawn

    tdr were a bunch of arrogant COMMENT DELETED BY MODERATOR. i wouldnt mourn their loss too much. im SURE we’ll be hearing from that COMMENT DELETED BY MODERATOR soon enough

  • dMullins

    @yawn: LOL, you’re funny. Lose your job?

  • Maestro Rep

    I think its time that they closed. Their design sense was not even based on fundamental graphic design but mostly on super kerned type with some abstract graphics. They did great stuff.., sure they did.., but its not like we will miss them because they have not or did not do anything special in the last couple of years.

  • Maestro Rep

    I am sorry. I was just very sad and tried to be positive. They suck.

  • screenintegrity

    farewell mitDR. from the very first sleeve art i clapped eyes on, to the great people i met at Neo/Neue, mitDR was IT. mitDR always will be.

    collaborative work with psygnosis still rocks me. esp w3.

  • Woolhouse

    Long Live TDR!
    It will be refreshing to see where it all goes and how it resurrects.
    Hearts are with you all.


  • Robert Porter

    That’s really sad, I grew up thinking I might work with them one day. I’ll will always remember you, Design Republic.

  • budski

    Cathers! what are we going to do??

  • matt tyson

    Unfortunately every business grows out of recognition…design did eat itself! DR spawned some ace designers in a smaller fashion. I’m really looking forward to the next incarnation of DR.

    DR inspired me in the past and will do in the future!

  • smithy

    I shat in the corridor and no one ever guessed. I had a lot on my mind that week, as I’m sure you all remember! No harm it all coming out now I suppose.

  • Michael Preston

    I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan as such, but I am sad to hear this, especially for the nine people now looking for work.

    It’s always tough to be pushed over the edge by a combination of things, some which are out of your control, but the fact that one of these factors is, “a major client who didn’t pay the money they owed us” I think is fairly despicable, in terms of the attitude of this major client.

    I think this kind of stuff is all too frequent is business. I hope the major client hangs their head in shame and also that what comes around goes around.

    Best of luck to all affected in the company.

  • .m


    This is a very sad day in design.
    I’ve learn a lot from tDR newsgroup: the one who inspired to perspire in designs and life.

    In a way i agree with ian about tDR not being tDR in the past 2-3 years. But despite all that, they always raise the bar in each design and its so influential its hard not to see it being replicated by others.

    I wish the best for Ian and a steadfast comeback tDR.

    we shall miss tDR.

  • imran chaudhri

    i’ll miss my DR

  • Simon

    Sad news, really.
    Long live TDR!

  • peaky

    very sad, an inspiration to us all here as much for attitude as well as the work.

    good luck to everyone involved.

    I wonder if this will even register on Westminster’s radar?

  • MattSaint

    Gutted, first tony heart, now this, January has been harsh.

    Wish luck to its members in seeking new work, sure they won’t struggle.

    Long live the Republic.

  • thomas romer

    it is sad for the layoffs, but as the man said. he will continue under that name. so in a way, you are all lamenting that DR is now a 1 person company versus a 9 man one. i suspect that he will rise again and likely with more inspired work than he was able to do with Coca Cola.

  • emilio estevez

    i want mitDR back!

  • dancon1
  • cathers

    budski! Nooo!

    thanks for the good times DR.

  • http://WWW.C42D.COM C42D

    Saying DR is “much copied” is like saying Edison’s light bulb or Henry Ford’s Automobile is “much copied”. Simply put, DR was the most influential studio on the planet. Name another one so well known and respected. You can’t. The entire techno music industry owes its look to these cats.

    Personally, they made me realize that creative design doesnt have to be watered down Bullsh1t and it can make a powerful statement about the culture we live in.

    Alien design gods from another planet. The haters have no love because they couldn’t even dream of being 1/100th as innovative as DR was on a bad day.

    Peace and came back stronger than ever to reclaim your throne Ian! We await the Return of the King.

  • Jeremy Horwitz

    tDR was, emphasis on was, one of the greatest graphic design firms in history. Its work in the mid-90’s was fresh, striking, and absolutely influential on everything from gaming to music packaging. I still wear the t-shirts, have the posters, the books. Would have bought a lot more too if the company hadn’t been so mediocre at merchandising.

    Also no doubt that tDR’s work started to suffer tremendously at some point, whether through new staff or old, burnt out staff, it’s unclear. Sloppy, arrogant design that looked like it had been scribbled on photos, abstract architecture imagery that said little and hooked no one… it was the designer as pretentious “artiste.” There were definitely moments of sparkle again, but what used to be consistently awesome work became spotty. Still, the great work of early tDR will live on, and inspire, forever.

    Mr. Anderson needs to eBay or otherwise sell off what remains of the company’s sketches, posters, etc rather than dustbinning them. See what stuff gathers the most interest and then use that as inspiration for whatever comes next. I suspect the architecture stuff will fetch comparatively little.

  • craig [Croydon H.E. Art, Design, Media]

    Roughly a decade after I bought the Age of Chance album 1,000 Years of Trouble, I chanced upon Paint The Whitehouse Black by Trouble Funk. The audacity of The Designers Republic impresses me to this day. Cheers for all the lecture material, Ian.

  • Eric Hillerns

    Mr. Anderson isn’t the only firm facing these realities, and each similar tale makes the issue even more disheartening. I read the second paragraph, looked around my studio, and thought, “well doesn’t that sound familiar.” I look forward to the next version, Mr. Anderson. I have long been an admirer.

  • James Stone

    Hope they all get new jobs, or make jobs for themselves, as some of the people coming out of there have in the past. Can imagine it being quite a feat to keep a studio of 10 people going, when you get a client holding fast on payments… Reminds me of the dot com days when people like Deep End grew so quickly… just how long can you pay all these people every month, for a company of just 10 people you’re probably shelling out approaching 40 to 50k. Batten down the hatches I say!

  • Richard Devine

    Having worked with DR for many years, I am totally shocked and sadden by the recent news. Looking forward to the next chapter in revolutionary graphic design and amazing art. RD

  • Terry

    Where will my inspiration come from now? Hope you can come back stronger than ever a lot of design styles depend on it!!

  • Richard Michie

    Being Sheffield born and bread I’m gutted. When I left school I wanted to work for designers republic clearly I was never ever going to be good enough. So I made my self content as a DR spotter which in Sheffield in the 90’s was pretty easy.

    Sad to see them go.

  • Darrell Gibbons

    tDR was, is, and always will be an inspiration. Good luck to Ian and his team on the next chapter. Please get that book finished!

    Darrell Gibbons/Mode

  • tap

    long live dr!!!!

  • Fraz

    Sheeet! Totally fell in love with their work very early on, wish I’d bought some of their stuff I could just stare at some of their work for hours, captured the zeitgeist better than anyone else along with Warp. Hopefully everyone involved will be OK, would love to see them rise again and change the game once more, we need some of that old sheffield steel attitude back again.

  • dadif

    weird to see a few familiar names from the tdr message board days. they lead the way with that too..

    goodbye tDR.

  • rog

    What a privilege to work with DR and IA. Toastrack Residents have one of the best logos in the country. Thanks Ian.


  • Alland Byallo

    thank you for the inspiration and for the life changing art.
    best of luck with the future.



    Horrible to see such a reputable business die like this. Hopefully it can return in some form in the future. It would be a shame if it didn’t.

    Wish them all the best. An inspiration to so many designers, including myself.

  • matt

    I can understand Ians situation, I used to work in a company where a lot of the design decisions were made by account directors and I must say that a lot of the creativity was lost, and unfortunately some projects were watered down versions of what could have been. Its a situation where you realy have to ask yourself why you are a designer and go with what you believe for better or worse

    Good luck to Ian and the rest of the team, I am sure this wont be the last we hear from them

  • Ed Beardsall

    Gutted! Come work with us! You can use my office!!!!!


  • Marc Woodhouse

    Does this mean the we’re going to be able to read type again? Communication is so much better when you can’t understand what someone is saying…

  • Patricio Brito

    I hope DR ‘ill back again.
    Wipeout forever » GO!

  • number8

    Quote from Ian Anderson in CR August 2001 “One days someone’s going to suss out that we dont know what we’re doing”

    DOH !

    Like many others here, tDR were the guys that me want to become a designer back in the 90’s. Loved there work to the max.

    Best thing: Artwork on the PS1 games Wip3out and Wip3out 2097.
    Worst thing: The blatant copies of tDR that followed.

    Look forward to the resurrection and good luck to the guys that lost their jobs.

  • dreamcrusher

    i’m thoroughly depressed now. these guys inspired me to be a graphic designer. i’ll never forget…

  • Steven camp

    Oh god, this is bad news. What a bad way to kick off my week.

  • Thinker

    I’ve just had a lecture today with Ian Anderson on his work and DR. He explained the whole lot in some detail. [Deleted by moderator] was the client that didn’t pay – I don’t care about naming names. [You might not, but we do. We can’t publish serious allegations about organisations without corroboration which, as yet, we don’t have in this case. Sorry. CR]

    It’s a shame but he was considering drastic chnages anyway, DR will chnage the way he wanted it to, just via a different Route. Believe me, he’s got some plans laid out. DR ain’t dead.

  • Norm

    Please allow my voice to join the chorus mourning the loss of the DR. Along with Masamune Shirow and Hajime Katoki, DR had been a favorite visual creator in my books. Anyone know what will happen to the prints/posters/art which had been on sale at The People’s Bureau? I’d certainly like to purchase one more piece, if only to possibly help out in the DR’s return.

  • Down10

    Sad to hear this news. I had been wondering what ever happened to the trailblazing, influential TDR of yore. Seems like they fell off sharply after their star designers moved on along with their long-time clients.

    I’ve still got my “Without the Designers Republic I am Nothing” limited edition neo.dr shirt. Thanks for the memories, Ian & co.

    Long live tDR!

  • pxlpark

    Wow, it’s official… tDR have pulled the plug, and sent Sissy off to boarding school.

    The remnants of what was possibly one of the first reasons I fell into graphic design (besides Reid Miles of course), was directly related to the music that I listened to, and more specifically the covers of the records… and Warp records played a big part of that in my late teens in the 80’s.

    First Ralf wins Survivor Island: Kling Klang, with Florian leaving, and now tDR are kaput…what next?

    Good luck gents. See you on the flip side.

  • Daniel Carrasco Medina


  • basde

    why did you sh*t in the corridor then smithy?

  • Tim Davis

    I’m quite glad they’ve gone actually (those who lost their jobs aside). I never quite understood how a company with such disregard for typography managed to go so far. It was always form over function.

  • Marc Iserman

    Interesting to see comments from both side of the typographical divide. I for one was greatly inspired by tDR’s work and they certainly provoked, which after all is one of the main reasons we are in this industry is it not?

    Without agencies such as these I don’t think design would be quite as rich as it is today. Whether you liked tDR’s style or not you can’t ignore the impression made.

    Long live tDR

  • Kwesi Amuti

    Man that really is a let down…
    The Republic was one of the main reason I got into Graphic Design, Logo Development and Typography…They may not know it but they had far reaching influence and still inspire me to this day…

    This is a sad day but although the Republic is gone I still say

    Long Live the Republic

    Kwesi A.
    AKOFA Creative / AKOFAType / /

    The impossible is only the unthought of…Kofi S. Amuti

  • Adrien Jenot

    Well TRD was great but Michael C. Place left and they died I seen this coming for a while now I was allways hoping they could recover a great designer to replace him but they never did and they lacked breakthrough design. oh well I guess it’s the cycle running it’s course now it someone elses time to shine.

  • Jumpy

    also one of my reasons for getting into design and i was only just playing whipeout and telling someone about the graphics.

  • Grant Wragg

    TDR were the single biggest influence on developing my interest in graphic design and typography – I’m gutted. Irrational attachment perhaps, but such is life.

    All the best for the future, guys.

  • Ben White

    “Without The Designers Republic I Am Nothing.” The neo.dr t-shirts from way back when ring true – so many of us would not be where we are today without them.

    My condolences to the former tDR staff, and tremendous respect to a studio that defined graphic design in every sense of the word. It’s truly the end of an era.

  • Jezza

    I worked with tDR on a project, and they were (or especially Ian was) the most brilliant collaborator I have worked with; they understand the intersection of ideas and design better than anyone. The work is not about style as such, but how cultural intelligence may be communicated. Rise from the ashes Mr Phoenix. I will be right there waiting.

  • Paul Mackenzie Ross

    Sad news. I’d only just stumbled across a very quiet tDR site after years away from it… The last visit was for the awesome BUY ME! t-shirt.

    I hope all the talented staff find new avenues of work and look forward to Ian resuscitating tDR in, hopefully, the not too distant future.

    Small is Beautiful sometimes.

  • Mike Bettney

    Very sad news indeed.

    The demise of TDR is a blow not only established designers such as myself, but also to all aspiring designers who need to look to companies like TDR for inspiration.
    This was a company who pushed the boundaries of design, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but occasionally you have to roll the hard six. Whatever they produced, they never conformed to the ‘trend of the week’ mentality as so many do. It’s not to say there aren’t other companies and individuals out there producing great work, because there are, but few can claim to take the chances that TDR did.

    They were obviously having business difficulties anyway, but the current economic instability wouldn’t have helped and if anything, its a reminder that in the creative business we can’t take anything for granted, and we must not forget that when a client has problems the knock on effect can be devastating not only to the agency and its staff but for its suppliers too.

    All the very best to TDR’s staff for the future.
    I’m sure that simply by having TDR on your CV’s mean that you will be sorted soon.

  • Alex

    Just yesterday I was playing WipEout HD and told my buddy how I loved the design work tDR did for the WipEout franchise. It makes me genuinely sad to see them go like this :(

    Thanks for years of inspiration tDR!

  • Penalba

    Tristesa eterna…

  • Ian Town

    Best of luck to Ian and the staff, as you can see from the above comments DR will be sadly missed.

    An awful lot of people including myself (especially as i’m based in the north) would not of got into graphic design, if we had’nt been blessed with the idea’s and strong ball’s out attitude of DR.

    Much love.

  • Dan

    tDR were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. They designed the cover art for most of the vinyl that I bought as a youngster which inspired me to pursue a career in graphic design. I did my degree in Sheffield and they were the holy grail of design at the time. Glad I kept all those flyers from my student days.

    I hope that IA goes on to bigger and better things and blesses our industry with the old DR magic once again.

  • your mom

    WTF cares. Enough with this techno crap.

  • lorraine crooks

    mm not sure what to think of your write up, yes it is sad when a company folds, however you did not once mention an appology to the companies that you owe money too. My company being one of them. Basically wipe your debts, leave every one else struggling. Then set back up Laughing

  • Patrick Burgoyne

    @ Lorraine
    Without wishing to sound dismissive of your concerns or doubting the very real problems that occur in these situations for all manner of parties, I’m not sure that this comment thread is the best place to air financial issues relating to the consequences of tDR’s insolvency. For the record, when I spoke to Ian Anderson he made the point that he had lost a large amount of money as a consequence of closing the business. I certainly did not get the impression that anyone was ‘laughing’ about what had happened, least of all him.

  • Mark

    They shouldn’t be getting positive PR out of a bad situation its not fair on the people who have lost jobs or the suppliers who won’t get their money for a service or product supplied, it’s rubbing these people’s nose in it saying they will be setting up again and using this site to advertise the fact.

  • basde

    enough already.
    I want hear the corridor sh*t story.

  • Quinny

    Sometimes, it just take a little bad luck to ruin everything. Time, space and people… we all depend on them, you and me, owner and staffs.

    Hope everyone find their way back on track soon.


  • Joost

    Classic design. One of the design icons of the nineties!

  • Bastian

    Good luck for the future and thanks for years of inspiration

  • Nick Phillips

    Early days fantastic fun!
    The city doesn’t feel quite the same now.

    If in doubt put a star on it!

  • Ljw_44

    as a ageing design fan..

    i am sad for my favourite design company to go out like this.

    but as he a blessing in disguise..and will only hope to see what will appear in the not too distant future.

    only to have grown up around gatecrasher flyers ,,and ny sushi flyers…i was inspired by such simple and creative design..

    but when the digital era came..sonys wipeout games took DR to a new level..and how i still treasure the game in mint condition…..

    we only live to dream..and create

    good luck DR WE MISS YOU ALREADY -_+

  • namelessface

    die DR die!

  • Cem Gul

    It was real inspiration to make tons of young people to start this job. I wish it will resurrect soon, more powerful…

    thanks for 23 years.

  • Youssef Sarhan

    I first heard of the designers republic when I was about 17 in an edition of ‘computer arts’ no less. I’m 21 now and as graphic design becomes more of a serious part of my life it’s a shame that these guys have closed. They were a pretty be stable in design coming out of the UK. I can’t say I was overly familiar with their work but what I did see, I defiantly liked and remembered.

  • Dorian Moore

    Ah, sad to hear this news of an influence, a co-conspiratorr, and a client of old.

    Good luck to all of them in whatever they choose to do.

  • http://- Virtual Reality

    The demise of tDR emphasises just how costly it is to run even a small design studio. The design industry needs to be much more pro-active in operating ‘virtual’ studios which don’t require either full-time staff or dedicated office space. Designers working from their own premises can be employed for a flat fee on a project-by-project basis. In this way overheads are kept to an absolute minimum. Unfortunately some clients seem more interested in the size of the companies they hire rather than the contents of their portfolios.

  • honest joe

    Please add my sincerely groveling apologia and critical vacuity to those knaves who have also misread this article as the death of tDR. Without such thoughtful juxtapositions of stylish visuals as a Virgin Mary and a bar code, I may never have realised the potential of graphic design as a political force.

    Best Wishes,

    Pantone 145 CV

  • (Jules) K.J. McCusker

    I first discovered DR nearly 10 years ago and was floored at the constant push and drive they possessed. It pushed me and it pushed many others and I can’t wait to see where DR will push us to next.

    As death only brings forward new life.

    Long live the Republic!

  • imcuba

    Just another joke I hope. :-)

  • Webkatalog

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  • Andrew

    What started off small and personal ironically became the corporate beast it poked fun at. I’ve seen many companies go this route, they didn’t know when to stop: started off small and all is hands-on and personal and then it’s a case of crappy corporate work in order to keep the staff employed and rent paid. A monster was born. This is why I freelance. I do all myself: client liason, production, accounts. Everything. I couldn’t imaging telling others to do the stuff in my head or getting bits and pieces of direction from some business person dealing direct with the client. If I did employ, I’d stop at 5-6 people maximum. You have to know when to say no more to new clients and be confident with the ones you have in order to keep it personal, hands-on and steering ever away from those dry, dull corporate clients you despise but are forced to like ‘cos they pay the bills. I think it good for DR. As the Hindu’s believe in Shiva: destroy and recreate. See you guys next time round!

  • Sapna B

    4 months late to the farewell party!

    haven’t been working in the design industry for 10 years (am now in media) – so that’s my excuse – but as a back in ’87 as a 16 year old schoolgirl in Sheffield, I met Ian Anderson at a party run by Red Tape Recording Studios where I was doing work-experience.

    I was looking at a poster on the wall at the venue and he came up behind me and said “I designed that”. I thought at first it was a terrible chat-up line, but once he’d convinced me he really was a designer, I told him about my design aspirations, and he offered me an interview – and then later, work-experience – at tDR.

    Subsequently I worked for tDR again when I was a design student at Newcastle in the holidays. They were a great bunch of guys and I never knew working could be such fun! Manga comics all over the floor and loud music, it was like being at your cool big brother’s mate’s house.

    I’ll keep an eye out for Ian’s new project with renewed interest. Long live tDR and the lovely Mr A.

  • Jon Thewlis

    @Ben White: my name’s on the neo.dr t-shirt too – line 54. I was never a designer but used to love the banter. Are you the chap that used to post from his dad’s account and really confuse people … don’t see you on the T. Funny how the names come flooding back even after all these years: Chris Matchett, John Glenn Hultman (JGH) and Simon Paul (spaul)… feels like it was yesterday. Halcyon days :)

  • Ali R

    Anyone know how to get in touch with the designers?
    Wondering if any of them want some freelance work.

  • kenny

    Poor financial control,recession was signed april last year,visible two months later,struck august 08.

  • typenowhere

    Ian will be talking at SweetTalk 38 at The Watershed, Bristol Thursday November 5th at 7pm. Event is organized by Candy Collective (Dublin) & typenowhere (Bristol).

  • NultPaula

    ребята, кто недалеко от пр. Ленина, 10 живет, нужна помощь срочно

  • Mark Edwards

    Hey Ian, don’t go too far back to basics, I remember the old offices without heating in the ‘dark room’.

    Hope all goes well

    MarkEdwards @ thirtyfourdesgn

  • Fred Campbell

    It’s a shame. Veni, vidi, vici – mort

  • Richard Knight

    Great company with great designers will rise again no matter usually bigger and stronger than before.

  • Danny

    I was on their site the other day. It is one of my favourite design agencies.

  • Simon

    Its amazing how many people have been inspired by tDR. Since i was 13 i wanted to be a graphic designer (i am now 35) and remember been at The Leeds College of Art amazed and inspired by everything tDR was doing, they made we want to do better but to also challenge the teachers about their way of thinking. The spirit you have as a student dies pretty quickly as soon as you start working but i think tDR greatest achievement was keeping that spirit alive. Hopefully this will push them to get it back again. A sad sign of the times for sure, creativity in all aspects of design and music is getting less and less every year.

  • James Curtain

    I was on their site last week sometime and it is a great looking site. I like their agency.

  • damagemagnet

    VIVA tDR!

    Such a shame.
    They had all the best ideas and concepts.
    Whatever Ian Anderson tries next will get my full support and attention.

    Maybe he should make limited edition Vile Evils T-shirts.

  • spaul

    buncha days late and a dollar short,

    was (emphasis_was, getting oversteps and vive le vileevils shortly) very sad to hear of the news, dunno why I just looked hear today but simply Ian and MCP and the gang have influenced my life and professional direction. I would not be designing in the evil music industry today without miTDR and neo.dr waves @ Jon Thewlis & Ben White!

    energy doesn’t die it just gets redirected…oh and thanks Ian for stealing back Graham and Adam! if I’m going to lose out, best to lose to the best 😉 (ppssst I designed their headphoned safety pin vile evils skull – an homage if there ever was one) lol it was an honour to be a place holder

    long live miTDR
    best is still NoW a word of science

    much respect,

  • Stuart

    Wow – shocking! It just confirms how old I actually am – I remember the start of it all. Good luck and thanks for all the fish 😉

  • SR

    1 yr 1 month 1 day later:
    From personal experience it is the – what happens after rock bottom – point when *things happen.

    Legends die young


  • Dennis

    that is a real shame. they for sure had the best ideas it’s a really great concepts.

  • Nik.C

    Anybody want to buy my Pho-Ku soundsystem tee?
    size large, Yellow. ( excellent condition)

    Shame about TDR, lived in Sheffield late 80’s to late 90’s their designs were everywhere, TDR & Warp, was I spoiled or what?!

  • PHIL

    DR rocked dude, I loved everything you guys did. Warp / DR was a match made in eye candy and ear candy heaven!!

  • Project 112c

    Looks like the DR Emigre #29 is up for auction on ebay this week.

  • mystrdat

    I’ve encountered tDR first in the Wipeout game, seemed so original and stylish that I was immediately hooked.
    Became a webdesigner, tDR could have been the secret influence. :)
    Hope something else positive will come out of this situation in the end.

  • jason

    DR was a design company with attitude for sure and I guess that is what marks them out from 1,000 other companies. Their design will live on past our life-times.
    Even though they broke typographical rules and conventions, which gave them their fair share of critics, their work is original and memorable.
    What more can design ask for? It was raw and honest and still is actually.
    Good luck to them.

  • cheesypoofsdontgiveafeck

    I hated there print work, wouldnt have wanted too work for them. But they were fools not to have paid there bills and there client was a sh@tbag for not paying. DR were so far out of date I was very suprised they were still going, they were popular in 1992. Wipeout is were they were best with full motion web design.

    So by going bancrupt and closing the company the tax bill dissapears? and the knock on effect of not having to pay anything else that the company owed?

  • Rod Thompson

    Very sad news this, sure they had some great designs and conceptions, inspired many designers with original and stylish themes, many here where motivated by their work.
    A silver lining to every cloud.

  • Lynsey

    Still go on
    Takes me back to when I was at Uni and what I wanted to aspire to!

  • Vekta

    It’s a real shame when something like this happens but I’ve seen it happen too many times over the years. When the number of people running the business outnumber the creative’s, it is so easy for a design company to lose direction. Good luck to the DR team, wherever you are!

  • bonezee

    YES! tDR are coming back! and they’re going to be doing artwork for the new pop will eat itself line up!.


    Confirmation that design is dead.
    Die Neue Typographie

  • Ollie Phillips

    It looks like they never did rise again, which is a real shame. Wonder what happened to the guys behind the Designers Republic

  • Web Design Cheshire

    its a shame they never come back!! Like ollie phillips say i wonder what they are now up to? would be interesting to know if they have done any further projects

  • john

    DR was the design house that all designers looked to at one point for inspiration. When they jumped from doing rave flyers and album art and moved into actually signage for government agencies, I was excited. But as with everything, corporations co-opted the DR look and exploited it for their own needs. DR became less about putting the middle finger up to the status quo, and slowly became to represent the status quo. Not necessarily in their work, but in the work that it inspired which started to be regurgitated by agencies throughout the world.

    I hate our world, but I love DR.

  • Stuart Rutter

    Long live the Designer Republic, I hold them dear to my heart. After seeing their work in Emigre 29 when I was a student. I was amazed by there work at the time and that edition of Emigre still remains one of my favorite.

  • Paul Arbon

    Massive shame – still love PWEI art work. True Pioneers!

  • Digiworks

    Simple, beautiful and efective. Great work!

  • Stephen

    Great portfolio of work. Unique and effective.

  • Suzanna

    Well, seems like they’re not coming back anymore – toooo sad :(

  • Solomon

    Did the Designers Republic book ever come out?

  • Joe

    Amazing stuff so sad they aren’t coming back :(

  • Skantadesign

    I just loved their semi-japanese style and the provocative texts. So many awesome CD and vinyl covers, from the 80’s until 2008 – I thought they would be around forever! It is such a pity they had to go out of business! It’s been a few years now, but I still miss them!

  • Volker

    There were times when their LP covers made me want to buy albums, just because of the DR sleeve design. DR and Neville Brody surely rocked the design world!