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Airside's Alex Maclean and Caroline Matthews found new agency, Rupert Ray

With popular creative studio Airside closing next month, co-founder Alex Maclean and MD Caroline Matthews have announced their plans to get up a new agency called Rupert Ray.

Opening in April, Rupert Ray's output will span disciplines including branding, graphic design, illustration, animation and live action production. The pair say that Rupert Ray is a unique propsition as 'Alex is known as a client's creative and Caroline has a reputation as a designer's MD.

Read our interview with Alex about Rupert Ray and how he's made a success of his career in our 'Make It Big' feature in the current issue of Digital Arts.

"Caroline and I have learned a lot from creating digital projects over the last 20 years," says Alex. "The shakeout of the digital revolution is not over, but with hindsight we have strong opinions about how to thrive in this new world. We like to say we do visual intelligence - I'm the visuals and she's the intelligence."

The name for the agency comes from a distant relative of both Alex and Caroline, who they've provided a handy backgrounder for:

'In the late 19th Century a young man, the last child of nine, not much more than a boy, left his privileged but unhappy home to make his own way and forget the past. He had a penchant for adventure, a reckless disregard for his own shortcomings and a hunger for knowledge that would place him close to the eye of a storm overtaking his world.'His young adult life saw the end of an age of empire, of inherited privilege and a culture of deference. Through the transformations wrought by horrors of two successive wars Rupert Ray witnessed the awakening possibilities of meritocracy (which he exploited) and the emancipation of strong-willed women (whom he loved too much). Acquiring artisanal and engineering skills before duty in the fledgling Air Corps, he became an accomplished artist.'Later in life he lost no thirst for change, becoming a patron of the arts and embracing a new and unsettling visual and literary culture born in the salons of Paris, the pubs of London and the coffee shops of Edinburgh.'By some accident of fate Alex and Caroline both happen to be (albeit distantly) related to him. We love the story, the myth and the spirit of restless adventure he displayed so it seemed most appropriate to name the company after him.'

BAFTA-nominated titles for No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, completed while at Airside.

Rupert Ray's first clients are a start-up lingerie brand in the US which Rupert Ray will be creating branding for, and a user experience brief from Intel. Initially there will be an in-house team of three full time staff supplemented by freelancers and expanded as the company grows.

Rupert Ray is online at rupertray.com or on Twitter @rupert_ray.


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