Airside to close in March

Airside is to close its doors in March 2012 after 14 years in business. The studio, which made its name originally for website design and animation, says the decision is a ‘voluntary’ one reached jointly by the founders Alex Maclean, Nat Hunter and Fred Deakin

Airside is to close its doors in March 2012 after 14 years in business. The studio, which made its name originally for website design and animation, says the decision is a ‘voluntary’ one reached jointly by the founders Alex Maclean, Nat Hunter and Fred Deakin

Airside opened in 1998. In a joint statement issued today, Maclean, Hunter and Deakin say “For the record, we aren’t going bust, in fact we’re currently thriving. We haven’t fallen out with each other, in fact we’re as close as we ever were. What has happened is that after 14 years of working together, we have grown into different people with different goals. Despite all of our best efforts we can’t see a way for Airside to move forward and accommodate all of our individual ambitions. You could put it down to musical differences if you like!”

Airside founders (from left) Deakin, Maclean and Hunter when they started in 1998 (left) and now


Lemon Jelly Nice Weather for Ducks video, 2003


The statement goes on to say that “We feel that it is completely true to the unique spirit of Airside to end the company as friends and to end it on a high. We’ll be making an announcement as to our individual future plans nearer to March 2012 when we close, and there will of course be a party to mark our closing. Between now and then we’ll be focused as always creating amazing work for our clients and ourselves – this is the last chance for us to work together as Airside. Although we definitely plan to collaborate in future.”

During Airside’s 14 years it has won many awards, including a Cannes Grand Prix and two Best in Books in the CR Annual. It was one of the first significant digital studios to emerge following the dot com crash of the late 90s and quickly gained a reputation for creative excellence. The company currently has nine staff. Its Tokyo branch, Airside Nippon, “will continue to trade as normal,” the company says.

From Airside by Airside, a book celebrating the studio’s tenth anniversary

Read our feature on the company’s tenth anniversary here

Our sister title Design Week has more on the story here

UPDATE: Airside has just released this film commemorating their work over the years. Be warned: the soundtrack will probably be with you for the rest of the day.

  • These three will all go on to bright new pastures.
    Their back catalogue speaks for itself.
    I count them as great friends.
    So long, and thanks for all the ducks!

  • Here’s to much more success for the team as they go their separate ways.

    Good luck.

  • The grass actually looks greener now!

  • What you guys did some terrific stuff. Hope everything works out in the future.

  • All the best for the future, its a shame to see airside end, top work

  • Airside will always be an inspiration to us, through their portfolio, attitude and philosophy.

    Good luck to you all for the future.

  • Chloe

    I don’t understand, can they not sell the company as opposed to just shut it down?

  • Dave

    …bought the t-shirt…

    All the best for the future.

  • Awesome work that always seemed to be more colourful than anything else around. You will be sorely missed.

  • A truely brilliant body of work with a identity of their own. Looking forward to seeing the next chapter which looks like it’ll be a trilogy!

  • Sad to see Airside’s demise, but hopefully the three of them will be moving onto greater things. They inspired me through my college and degree years. Their book takes pride of place in my house.

  • Again, to re-utter sentiments above, this is really sad news. But it just goes to show that natural creativity is an organic creature, very much like a tree. To begin with everything is so tight and can’t help in pulling upwards and in the SAME DIRECTION. But through time and natural desire of each independent branch, parts of the tree (still pointing upwards) start to seek out new direction and deviate from other parts of the main stem.

    Good luck to all.

  • Airside was a company I aspired to work for at some point in my career. And although its the norm now, they were some of the pioneers of really great vector graphics back in the day. I’m very sad to see them go. Good luck to them all.

  • Bip

    WAIT! I need a new website!

    Great work,
    Good luck,

  • Liz Allard

    Congrats on your personal growth, strength and all that goes with it.
    Liz Allard

  • Simon

    Devastated. As with Wheels, Airside were the benchmark I always aspired to. Fun, beautiful work that was based on creativity not corporation.

    Thank you for giving me so much inspiration.

  • Airside isn’t a company I’m particularly familiar with… nor its creative output… but whilst it’s always sad to hear of a company closing its doors, I have to say how mightily impressed I am by the mature and very professional way that the three of you are winding down your business. It’s very refreshing in these mean-spirited times and surely a credit to all partners and staff.

  • Bill Pantos

    I still can’t believe the news I heard about Airside.

    Sad to see such a great studio with a very vivid creativity closing it’s doors.

    On the other hand, I find it to be a rather progressive step for all of them, especially nowadays with the economy having so many ups and downs.

    All my best to you guys and thank you for inspiring us with your work.

    Best regards,

    Bill Pantos

  • Joshua Springett

    Who are Airside?

  • All the best guys and thanks a lot for inspire us for over a decade.

  • Good Luck,
    i hope to hear some new songs from Lemon Jelly soon :)
    The most creative sounds ever!