Nick Philip

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Nick Philip (born in 1968 in London[1]) is a graphic and multi-media artist and clothing designer based in San Francisco, California.


As a teenager in London, Philip was a cut-and-paste artist active in the city's freestyle bicycle/skateboard subculture. He was art director of a magazine called RaD that initially focused on BMX and later on skateboarding.[2] In 1986,[3] 2 years before moving to the United States,[citation needed] he founded Anarchic Adjustment, a clothing company that initially focused on skate punk wear but later became known for its rave fashion, such as T-shirts featuring aliens, UFOs, or MDMA-inspired slogans like "open your mind."[4][1] i-D later characterized it as a "maverick streetwear brand that emerged at the intersection of the skate, freestyle BMX and proto-rave scenes of the late 80s."[2]

Philip also created some of the first Bay Area rave fliers[5] using photocopiers and collages,[6] and has been described by Simon Reynolds as one of the "prime movers" who catalyzed the West Coast rave scene (several of whom where British expatriates).[7]

He was an early contributor to Wired Magazine.[8]

Phiilip was co-founder of the multimedia studio SFX in San Francisco from 1993-94. He also designed a number of CD covers for the ambient music label Silent Records during this time.

In the mid-1990s Philip worked on the film What Dreams May Come; in the movie's 1998 release, Philip is credited with "painted world visual effects: Lunarfish" (Lunarfish being a San-Francisco-based special-effects and CGI company).[9] In 1997 Philip released Radical Beauty on Om Records, a combination of audio CD and computer CD-ROM that combines music, graphic art, computer animation, and an interactive digital mixing capacity. It won the Best Digital Contents Award at San Francisco Multimedia Summit.[10] The music on the audio CD was provided by a range of techno, hip-hop, and ambient artists, including Mixmaster Morris, T-Power and Daniel Pemberton.[10]

Philip has worked as a videographer, in collaboration with audio artists Sun Electric ("Meccano"[11]), Prana, and Journeyman. "Meccano" was the first video to be played on MTV's electronic music show Amp.[5] Around 2000, together with musicians Jeff Taylor and Simon Colley, he founded a music/video project called Alloy , which was invited to perform at the UK festival Big Chill, who also featured Alloy's track "Vague Electricity" on one of its compilations.[5]

From around 2006 on, Philip became known for his Imaginary Foundation clothing line.[12] His 2022 "Paperback Metaverse" exhibition in San Francisco featured an "immersive sculpture" made out of old pulp novels with augmented reality elements.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b Reynolds, Simon (June 19, 2013). Generation Ecstasy. Routledge. p. 152. ISBN 978-0415923736. Nick Philip's clothing company, Anarchic Adjustment, went from purveying skatepunk wear to being 'a mouthpiece for loved-up ecstasy consciousness.'" [...] 'We were the first to put aliens and UFOs on shirts,' claims Philip.
  2. ^ a b Seward, Mahoro (2020-04-22). "The minds behind Palace x Anarchic Adjustment in conversation". i-D. Retrieved 2023-11-23.
  3. ^ "Palace Partners With Anarchic Adjustment for Spring 2020 Capsule". Hypebeast. 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2023-12-03.
  4. ^ Mireille Silcott: Rave America: New School Dancescapes. ISBN 978-1-55022-383-5 p.63 ("A graphic designer named Nick Philip created a San Fran rave-gear company called Anarchic Adjustment, specializing in T-shirts emblazoned with buzz phrases like 'open your mind' and images of aliens; the company was soon raking in thirty thousand dollars a season.")
  5. ^ a b c Darren Keast: Computer World. East Bay Express, August 29, 2001
  6. ^ Ito, Joi. "The Next Great (Digital) Extinction". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2023-11-23.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Simon (1999). Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Psychology Press. pp. 149–150. ISBN 978-0-415-92373-6. [...] the West Coast's [rave] scene was directly catalyzed, in large part, by British expatriates. In San Francisco a remarkable number of the prime movers were from the UK: [...including] clothes designer Nick Philip.
  8. ^ Staff, WIRED. "Street Cred Contributors". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2023-11-23.
  9. ^ Nick, Philip. "Nick Philip". IMDB.
  10. ^ a b "Nick Philip". Shift.
  11. ^ Strauss, Neil (1997-01-19). "A New, Spacey Look For MTV". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-12. [...] Nick Philip, who directed the computer-morphing video for Sun Electric's 'Meccano,' an 'Amp' favorite.
  12. ^ Pescovitz, David (2016-10-17). "Anarchic Adjustment: pioneering street culture brand revived at L.A. art show". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2023-11-23.
  13. ^ Pescovitz, David (2022-10-01). "Mind-bending pulp paperback augmented reality installation from Imaginary Foundation". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  14. ^ Melnick), Former Writer (Kyle (2022-10-04). "'Paperback Metaverse' Exhibit Combines Books And AR". VRScout. Retrieved 2023-12-10.

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