Airside to close after 14 years

Airside is set to close after 14 years in business, with founders Fred Deakin, Alex Maclean and Nat Hunter set to go their separate ways.

The consultancy will close its doors for good next March.

Airside ends

A statement from the founders says, ‘For the record, we aren’t going bust, in fact, we’re currently thriving. We haven’t fallen out with each other, in fact we’re as close as we ever were. What has happened is that after 14 years of working together, we have grown into different people with different goals.’

Speaking to Design Week, Deakin says, ‘When we set up Airside in 1998, we had a clear vision – and we were fortunate enough to achieve all of it. We feel like we had a real impact.

‘We then got to a point where we had to find our next goals – and right now the three of us have individual ambitions.’

Deakin adds, ‘The bizarre thing is that we’re not selling the business – we felt like it wasn’t that sort of company. We did think about it at various times over the years, but we felt like we’d have to commit ourselves to several years of soullessness.

‘We feel a bit like the KLF when they burned a million quid – we want to end Airside with a bang.’

Airside founders
The three Airside founders – then and now

Deakin says there are currently eight-to-nine staff at Airside, all of whom will be leaving between now and next March.

He adds that the consultancy will continue to work on new projects between now and March and is also seeking new business. He says, ‘We’re hoping to make some of our most creative work between now and March – like when The Beatles made Abbey Road, they knew it would be their last album and all the tension went.

‘I also think that when people thought of Airside we were probably best known for our incarnation in the early noughties, and in order to take on newer and exciting projects – like our work with Virgin Atlantic [on the in-flight entertainment system] we had to free ourselves from the legacy of that Airside.’

Deakin says he and his fellow Airside founders are currently looking at individual plans for the future, noting that ‘Nat [Hunter] is keen to develop her work in ethical and sustainable design and Alex [Maclean] is very passionate about moving image.’

Airside Nippon, which operates as a separate business, is set to continue, under creative director Henki Leung.

Hide Comments (8)Show Comments (8)
  • Dean Howard November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Good luck! Always loved your work (and music). Ace of Spades print is pride of place in our living room.

  • Danyboy November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    soooo, new Lemon Jelly album Q4 2012 ?

  • Arps Patel November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Good luck all. You’ve done the industry proud with some iconic work.

  • Gary November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Interesting. What I find really amazing is the inaccuracy of the Beatles analogy. After Abbey Road they released Let It be. Research chaps…………. research.

  • Gary November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    But which album was released last? Which one went to market first? Design business 101 chaps!!

  • Daniel Berg November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Oh, come on “Anonymous”, Fred says “like when The Beatles made Abbey Road, they knew it would be their last album and all the tension went”.
    He says when they MADE the album, not when they RELEASED it. The important thing here is the creation phase.
    You were wrong in your comment. Get over it.

  • LINGDUM November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Good bye my hero. You guys are always one of my great inspiration. I owned it to you guys of what I have today. I knew you in 2001, back when I was in University. After that I have became obsess with your style and have been keeping your creative process and visualization idea in the back of my mind. You guys are the reason I start this motion design career. I have MFA in New Media, a Motion Graphic instructor at Academy of Art Uni. and I own a small motion design company in BKK. All of it because of the great creative energy from “Airside” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Gary November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    How about anthology then? I win!!

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