Autist Inc. ("It's not artistic - it's autistic!") was the name for Philip Brophy's design work in the late '70s to early '80s. Most of the work was for bands, venues and records, covering new & experimental music as well as punk/new-wave/post-punk. In the late '70s, working in design was viewed as embarassing and very uncool, and Philip mocked the idea of being a professional design 'company' by perversely pretending to be slick and professional. This cynical line extended into much of his design work for the underground/independent music channels in Australia at the time, mimicking contemporary and retro streams of 'corporate design' and copy writing typical of ad agencies.
All jobs came in requests, and never did Autist Inc. make a 'pitch' to do something. This was due to the good fortune of working with imaginative people who got Autist Inc.'s humour. They were happy to have their enterprises stand out in a sometimes awkward or confusing way – due to the implausible logic of the posters and flyers, as well as the often illegible logotypes. Special thanks are due to long-time supporter Bruce Milne and his numerous Au-Go-Go ventures, as well as live entrepreneur Laurie Richards who ran venues associated with the expanded 'Crystal Ballroom' brands and rebrands.
Another key feature to Autist Inc.'s work was the screen-printing of posters. This developed due to the skills and training of artist Maria Kozic, who handled all the complex photographic, bromide and screen tech, as well as supervising the printing techniques for the posters. By around 1983, Autist Inc. slowed down work, due partly to the post-punk scene slowly evolving into streams of proto-grunge, Stooges/Ramones-adoration, and thrash/noise. Bands in these channels were not so interested in the aesthetics or artsy humour of Autist Inc.'s approch to design and imagery. Also, the smaller independent bands and venues utilized street postering less and less due to the take-over of companies who operated mafia-style, working with more established and/or major enterprises in the recording industry in Australia.
Most design work by Autist Inc. bears the corporate logo stamp. It continues on past 1983 primarily due to commissions received from Bruce Milne with the Au-Go-Go shops and his expanding project of labels and other ventures. (Cash never changed hand for all these jobs: payment was a never-ending record tab.) Philip's graphic design continued with his commissioned designs as well as for his own projects.(Special thanks to Warren Taylor who initialized an interest in this work and embarked on digitizing everything for the Monash University Design Archive.)
7", 12", LP, CD
Large, small, silk-screened, offset printed
Photostats & off-set printed
Covers for books & magazines
Labels, venues, clubs, managers, promoters, galleries, bands, artists