The Designers Republic announced last week that they have been forced to shut down due to several unlucky occurrences that all involve money.
Well, during the last years tDR has grown into a very large enterprise that had to run after corporate money in order to keep itself alive. It might have looked strange to their early followers that they were designing the international look of Coca Cola since 2006. According to founder Ian Anderson, he was also aware of this break in ethics and he plans to bring tDR back, probably on a much smaller scale. Design ate itself!
But anyway, If you look through some of their record sleeves (and other works in public spaces from the last 20+ years, it is safe to say that no other company (or single designer) has had such an enormous and lasting impact on graphic design as tDR.
There was Hipgnosis in the seventies, followed by heroes Neville Brody, Peter Saville, Russell Mills and 23 Envelope in the eighties. Designers Republic took all this, wrapped it up and ran with it. You can still spot a good tDR sleeve from one of the countless imitators that followed them.
Of course, thanks to tDR we now have loads of annoying graphic designers who like to have their photographs taken while holding up a fresh din a0-print, most likely sporting a stupid calendar-wisdom in a wacky type face.
Hee hee hee, yes! Wipeout!