Graphic design company
founded 1998 London, UK

# Alex MacLean
# Nat Hunter
# Fred Deakin
# Anne Brassier
# Colm Larkin
# Henki Leung
# Guy Moorhouse
# Sibylle Preuss
# Chris Rain
# Emma Hodson

In fact, things worked out so well that within a year the trio had managed to sub-let the rest of the desk space in their studio to people they gelled with creatively, had started employing designers one by one, and were told by their accountant that – since everyone was doing so much work together – they would have to form a limited company.

d0079151_14403036.jpgThe result was Airside, an accidental company with an accidental name. “We came up with a shortlist of about 20 words, but all of them had the URL taken,” reveals Hunter, shattering the mystique. “I had The Oxford Dictionary of New Words and I went through it, starting at A,” she continues, “Do you know what Airside means? It’s when you’ve gone through passport control, before you get on the plane, you’re Airside.”

Varied backgrounds“We didn’t set out to do that,” Hunter recalls, commenting on both the company’s name and the way it’s developed. “We didn’t get into this for the business. We got into it because we wanted to do better work. The three of us, over the course of that first year, realised that we worked well together. It was interesting, because we’ve got very different backgrounds. It was a bit of an experiment, because Fred didn’t know Alex.” The common link was Hunter, who has a background in human computer interface psychology, graphic design and programming. It was as a psychology student at Edinburgh University that she first met fellow undergraduate Fred Deakin, who was studying English Literature and running interactive experiential club nights. Then, as an MA student at the RCA, Hunter met Alex Maclean who, at the time, had left architecture to work on virtual worlds.

When the three came together Hunter was freelancing as a Flash programmer, Deakin was both a graphic designer and part-time DJ and Maclean was working on 3D virtual worlds and models for architects. Despite their completely different backgrounds, they found that their work clicked because they had one key thing in common: they all thought about user-experience.


All of which leaves one question: what does the future hold for Airside? “Things are changing,” reflects Hunter. “Advertising companies are doing more online work. The first wave of the web revolution was like the Wild West: anything went. It feels like we’re in the same position now. It’s an open book again, and we’re looking forward to exploring that side of things more.” It seems that Airside is ready for take-off.

by another29 | 2007-03-14 14:37 | □Grafic

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