The Designers Republic on the business of design


There are a number of questions that have plagued humanity since the time that the first hominids began to populate the earth. Fundamental questions such as ‘where did we come from?’ and ‘why are we here?’ have always been considered. Those questions still remain along and another important question is whether to follow a path of passion and love in your career or to simply follow the money? The right answer will be determined by your own values.

At Anisometric we have been fortunate to be able to forge a path in a way that fulfils both of those needs, and yet for many it is a veritable minefield of navigating the corporate world and being able to simultaneously pursue those passions.

‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Designers Republic certainly influenced us as we grew up, and enjoyed and appreciated their work with client such as: Aphex Twin, Playsatation, Wipeout, Gatecrasher, Issey Miyake, Sony, Nickelodeon, Warp, Coca-Cola and so much more. They influenced an entire generation, not just of young English designers, but also designers from across the world.

Ian Anderson, who was born in 1961 in Croydon, just outside of London, founded the Designers Republic in 1986. He moved to Sheffield (north of nowhere) in the 1970s to study philosophy and became acquainted with the club scene around there. He then managed a group (Person and Person) and designed their record cover for their ‘High Time’ single in 1984. Commissions from other groups followed and he joined forces with Nick Phillips, a sculptor and organist from the indie pop band World of Twist.

Their first album cover was for a group called ‘Chakk’ and the album was entitled ’10 days in an Elevator’ in 1986. This project allowed them to pay for their first studio, which was a boardroom in an old engineering works.

They grew from there and built a reputation as an agency that worked with dream clients and produced great projects, and they would live happily ever after and become incredibly wealthy, right?

Well… we can let Ian Anderson and other former members of the team continue the story in their own words in collaboration with Computer Arts.


The legacy of tDR


How to launch and run a design studio


Nail a creative brief


Be at the top of your game


The future of design

Michael Build: Studio Build

David Bailey: BBC

Ian Anderson: The Designers Republic (tDR)

Nick Bax: Human

Matt Pyke: Universal Everything

Interviewer: Computer Arts

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