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.