An iconic designer in electronic music and beyond shares his story with Trevor Jackson.
When Ian Anderson and Nick Phillips founded The Designers Republic (tDR) in 1986, Anderson was something of a dilettante when it came to design. Rather than studying the art in an academic context, he developed a visual language through necessity, creating covers and flyers for bands and events because "no one else wanted to do it." But as the second half of the '80s progressed, the studio had already gained a reputation for a distinctly postmodern approach that interrogated larger questions of truth and perspective. When the '90s began, so too did tDR's relationship with Warp Records, leading to the designs for the likes of Aphex Twin and Autechre that cemented the studio's position as electronic music's preeminent designers.
Despite tDR's impact on the music world, their work extends far beyond that niche. A generation was immersed in their aesthetic thanks to video games like Wipeout while corporate clients including Adidas and Coca Cola make up a sizeable portion of their portfolio. In this live conversation recorded at the Bleep pop-up store, Anderson speaks to Trevor Jackson—a respected designer and artist in his own right—for an extended session unpacking the finer points of Anderson's design philosophy and the intent driving some of his finest works.
The RA Exchange is also available on Spotify.