The Brighton exhibition marks the launch of the agency’s retrospective book ‘Time Flies When You’re being Rude’, which narrates the story of Rude’s past decade and a half. It was designed by Ico Design, and features eye-poppingly bright covers which tell either the story from 1999 – 2008 or 2009 – 2014, depending on which way round you hold it.
Abi Meats, Rude co-founder, says: “Putting it all together was quite an organic process – it really shows the range of projects we’ve worked on. The work in the show is more indicative of where we are now in terms of style, and shows our best and more graphic prints.”
The book and show span Rude’s inception by its founding husband and wife duo Abi and Rupert Meats, to its “over expansion” and subsequent going bust, to the present day, through beautiful hand drawn illustrations, client work and product imagery.
“As artists and illustrators it’s difficult to keep going and be as creative as we can”, says Abi Meats.
“But we’ve had some amazing clients and on those projects we really push ourselves and create such a vast body of work that half of it isn’t relevant to the job, so we’re left with lots of assets to play with.”
When it started out, Rude was a T-shirt label. It then expanded into street wear, before turning its screen-printing and hand-drawing aesthetic to design work for clients including Vogue, Renault, No Added Sugar, PJ Smoothie, Polydor Records, BMI, Capital Radio and Island Records as a fully-fledged agency. The exhibition will feature new work alongside archival prints and products.
So what’s next for Rude? “It’s not that we’ve drawn a line under it, but the show gives us a snapshot of the last 15 years”, says Abi Meats .
“We wanted to remain financially viable but still get a lot of creative output, so looking at things like animation and moving image, and creating more figurative imagery and characters.”
The Rude retrospective exhibition runs from 17 October – 16 November at Castor & Pollux, 165 Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 1 NB