How Designer's Republic Created the Y2K Aesthetic
The One Block Down editorial archive is an ever-evolving resource detailing the cultures, movements and ideas that defined contemporary stylistic discourse. From unique takes on today’s leading pop-culture topics, to off-kilter stories that might have slipped through the net, our editorial archive is as fundamental as it is abstract.
A visual and artistic movement, Y2K has structured itself as a major trend of our time. However, its iconography respects codes posed at the beginning of the data processing.
Windows 95 and its DTP software allowed artists to create the basis of Y2K imagery. Its name comes from "kaybug," the bug of the year 2000. At that time, the world was living with the fear of a computer system collapse that would create a global chain reaction. On the contrary, a generation of artists was very optimistic about technology. Designer's Republic was one of them.
tDR is a small studio created in Sheffield in 1986 by Ian Anderson, designing flyers by hand. He accompanied the development of the label WARP Records by creating the covers of its artists, with simple symbols and lively colors; he tried to develop futuristic covers that remain timeless.
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