DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion



ginza graphic gallery

  • Japanese

The 295th Exhibition
Ian Anderson / The Designers Republic Come Home
February 4 (Fri.) to February 28 (Mon.)

The Designers Republic (TDR) gained a wide following around the world beginning in the 1990s with its music-related artwork, including album covers for the Warp record label, and other striking visuals that reinterpreted or reconstructed familiar corporate logos, symbols and katakana characters in ways that strayed from their original meaning.

Japan was hardly immune to the phenomenon. Indeed, TDR had an enormous influence that extended even beyond the realms of music, fashion, games, and graphic design. TDR founder Ian Anderson, whose designs often incorporate Japanese pop culture elements, was deeply influenced by the swirl of consumerism he discovered in the youth culture hot spot of Shibuya—a Blade Runner world of clamorous neon. Though committed to working primarily from Sheffield, the group called Tokyo something of a second home, even opening a TDR store called The Peoples Bureau for Consumer Information in Harajuku’s shopping paradise in 2002.

When the UK design blog Creative Review first ran reports of TDR’s dissolution on 20 January 2009, the news instantly reverberated among designers around the world. It was a shocking event that left many feeling a kind of stunned resignation, but Anderson insisted from the start that TDR would be back. He continued pursuing his own work and before long, though without fanfare, again under the TDR name. One could say, perhaps, that the current event in Tokyo, TDR’s home away from home, marks the beginning of its next chapter.

TDR design—communicating with others through the questions and dialogue generated when preconceived notions are overturned—is alive and well. At last the world of TDR, and the pleasure of expectations betrayed, comes charging into ggg.

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