WipEout: The Designers Republic

Curator: Nicole Jacek
date: July 24, 2013
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Entertainment Design, Information Design, Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: branding, Design, Gaming, graphic design, russian constructivism, TDR, The Designers Republic, Wipeout

In 1995, Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller played a video game called WipEout in cult teen cyber thriller, Hackers. In 1996, WipEout turned from that pre-rendered demo Angelina and Johnny pretended to play, to the most stunning video game in the world. A game that embodied everything from innovation to zeitgeist and marketing.

WipEout was the reason why I wanted to work with Sheffield-based design studio, The Designers Republic, the most copied design studio in the world, founded by Ian Anderson in 1986. 

Look at the branding! TDR gave the complete game an identity (a fake one of course) and created a universe of fake brands that perfectly co-exist in a virtual world; a world that looked like a club. Dance music was huge back in the ’90s, and since TDR designed most of the logos and graphics for popular acts and CDs everyone bought, this seemed to be a brilliant marketing strategy. WipEout was a “dangerous game” and highly addictive. The capitalized E, as the legend goes, stood for the drug Ecstasy, top of politicians’ hit list at the time according to Eurogamer

After 28 years, Studio Liverpool, founded as Psygnosis in 1984, the video game developers behind WipEout closed down. WipEout is dead. Long live WipEout!

Lewis Longshank
Wipeout, branded by the Designers Republic, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Branding for fake corporations

TDR was responsible for the branding…

Musashi Media
…and packaging of WipEout 1–3

Originally designed for WipEout, later used as TDR’s logo: The “angryman”

Via DR London
I wish this was a real company: Auricom for WipEout

WipEout iconography

WipEout type design

WipEout 3 box

WipEout XL

Seventeen years of WipEout

  • Barry

    Why did I not see and comment on this article earlier??

    TDR was the reason I became a graphic designer. Specifically, their work on the Wipeout series of games. The awesome in-game ads and brands, the race countdown girl in the third game, the game menus (especially the one seen in Wip3out), all appealed to me on a level that I had never experienced before. Playing Wipeout was when I first really became aware of graphic design, and wanted to be a part of it.

    Thanks for this great write up, Nicole! Also, you rocked at AIGA Minneapolis.

  • http://www.northprime.com/ North Emissary

    That video game changed my life!!

  • http://www.mattpealing.co.uk/ Matt

    Some very drool-worthy work! But I’m pretty sure TDR never worked on Wipeout Pure? (despite what Wikipedia may say)

    Also the left-hand side of the image with caption “TDR was responsible for the branding”… I’m pretty sure that wasn’t TDR either?

  • Steve

    Yeah, as far as I know TDR had nothing to do with Wipeout after Wipeout3. That last video (Wipeout through the ages) doesn’t really belong in this article, other than as a sign of how things went downhill :P

blog comments powered by Disqus