Age Of Chance – One Thousand Years Of Trouble

Author: Colin | Published: 22/12/10

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Age Of Chance - 1000 Years Of Trouble

Artist Age Of Chance
Title One Thousand Years Of Trouble
Label Virgin
Year 1987
Design “One thousand years of artwork made by The Designers Republic”
Music Rock-meets-hiphop
Desktop Download image
Notes 1987 was the year that Public Enemy broke and three years after Frankie Goes To Hollywood released Two Tribes. Where ZTT’s design predictably placed Ronald Reagan and Lenin on opposite sides of the 12″ sleeve, The Designers Republic and Age of Chance deliver something much more impressive. TDR founder Ian Anderson has said that Age of Chance provided so much inspiration in terms of slogans and ideas that all he felt half the job was already done before he started work.

One Thousand Years Of Trouble combines attitude, provocation and (then) contemporary iconography to produce a cover that’s as striking today as it was in 1987 – and as likely to put a great big grin on your face. It’s archetypal early period Designers Republic. The front cover merges the symbolism of bombs, medals, the superpowers of the USSR and the USA, skyscrapers, globalisation and, slyly, design itself. The black and white strip on the right side literally and metaphorically knocks the impact just off centre, as if to ask ‘What’s underneath all this? What comes next? It’s essential to the success of the design.The chevrons that encircle the red star point in opposite directions. There’s an empty space where the two will meet. This is the moment before they do so. It’s the Age of Chance. The star, symbolic of both socialism and the American states tilts backwards, providing a sense of implied depth. And the medal? Buy the album, receive an award for bravery, loyalty or daring. Wear it with pride.

Flip the cover and all hell breaks loose: there’s that angled red star again (pointing into the future?), but it’s just one anchoring element in a blizzard of signs and declamation framed by the black and white strip that appears on the side of the front cover:

Are They Real?




100 TO 1000


The barrage continues on the inner sleeve: Oliver North (Iran-Contra scandal), NASA technicians, Zola Budd (South African runner given UK immigration priority), missiles raining down on the Bayeux Tapestry knights, a variation on the medieval knight lined up between cruise missiles, the knight’s head replaced by a satellite encircled by the words ‘anything can happen in the next half hour’. All of this underpinned by the declaration:


Age of Chance espoused no defined political affiliation. Like the Futurists before them they celebrated the flavour of modern life, its frenetic tempo and deafening noise. The group itself was short-lived, but they gave The Designers Republic their opportunity to begin developing a distinctive visual language that brilliantly articulated the zeitgeist.

See also:

Pop Will Eat Itself – X Y & Zee



  1. One of the first few (or maybe the first period) Des Rep designs.
    Regardless, Age of Chance is how Designers Republic got their start.
    Truly an ‘Invention is the mother of necessity’ moment, Ian, who,had no graphic training,was their manager and when they needed flyers/graphics he decided rather than hire someone just save the cash and design it himself. The rest is graphic design history.

    Comment by Leopold Stotch — February 7, 2011 @ 11:46 pm
  2. True Leopold, with the exception of one detail – Ian was never the band’s manager.

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