“The design community used to be an exclusive club. Now they let any riff raff with a computer in.” Meet the ever-contrary Ian Anderson, founder of the unique Designers Republic.

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Ian Anderson’s celebrated career was never planned. He started out managing and promoting local bands and Sheffield club nights. Now, the founder of The Designers Republic – one of the most respected design houses in the UK – says that it was started with rock ’n’ roll spirit at its core. 
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“It was ‘declared’ on Bastille day 1986,” says Anderson, “with no budget, outlook, or ambition other than to get some beer money in return for having a good time doing what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. Really. There was no point in a business plan as we always imagined that the next job would be the last, that we would be sussed.” 
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Anderson started The Designers Republic with no formal experience in the design industry. “I never officially trained as a designer and have never worked professionally for anyone else,” he says. 
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Instead, the company relied on a unique attitude and outlook that would prove incredibly appealing to a wide variety of clients, from Powergen to Sony, and Warp Records. And 18 years on, the attitude remains: “where we position ourselves philosophically, politically, physically, and culturally will always be core to our attitudes, approach, and activity,” says Anderson. 
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