Value & Service

Value and service. Does that sound like the kind of company that considers its slipmat offering a reification of The Smiths lyrics, “Sweetness, I was only joking when I said I’d like to mash every tooth in your head?” Even if said slipmat is decorated with factory-direct German sandpaper, guaranteeing a swift self-destruct for any DJ brave [dumb] enough to attempt a set? No? Fantastic. But don’t assume you quite get it based on that, either – this is far from conceited wit. This is value. And service. And, yes, “meta.” And if ironic it must be, at least it’s a most intelligent, well-thought-out irony that can both be taken credit for, in the case of admirers, and blamed on some other guy, in the case of detractors: “It’s an homage to an homage. Durutti Column released its first record, The Return of the Durutti Column, in 1980. The cover was made from sandpaper and was inspired by a situationist joke, a book with a sandpaper cover to destroy other books on the shelf.” Grabbing their name from an unlikely source, a shopping bag, Central Saint Martins schoolmates Hazel Rattigan and Sean Murphy established the company in London in 2002, eventually bringing on sometimes-DJ Nick Tweedie to help with the growing design load. With sober clients like Toyota, Harrods, HP, and The Economist, there’s no shortage of serious work for the young company, but there’s always time for clever projects: The original duo made a distinct impression on the design world with their downloadable t-shirt design, the embellishment an iron-on that, once affixed properly, required the wearer to break through the neck and arm holes with his or her body. Box-free thinking that stoically, and cleverly, defies the word “funny.”