The Aureate Timorous Beasties


Pattern maximalism hits the substrates from the Timorous Beasties studio.  For nearly twenty years Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons have been designing subversive graphics in the guise of tradition for off the shelf fabrics and wallpapers as well as bespoke commissions and collaborative projects. The latest news on these guys? Just last week at the studio the 250th birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns (who provided the name of the studio in his poem ‘To a Mouse’) was “celebrated with whisky, haggis, poetry and song.”



T.B. had another party last fall with partners Nobody & Co for the launch of their Scroll Table. The powder coated steel table has a handle which rotates the ‘tablecloth’ underneath the glass. There’s a version with patterns printed by hand and another with digitally printed fabrics such as the gradated ‘Russian Damask’ featured above.

Most of the products from Timorous Beasties are screenprinted by hand, but some of their home decor products use digital printing such as in their elaborate Digital Iguana for cushions and detailed London toile for the inside of lampshades.


As you can see from the prints above, Timourous Beasties has screenprinting skills to die for.

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I really applaud these guys. I think that tranformational design is something relatively untouched, but it can be really dramatic in such a consumer driven society. I think being able to customize your own furniture is a very real trend starting in the design community and I think this scroll table does a great job in allowing for “mass customization.” I am a design student at Georgia Tech and we focus on designing with parameters to allow for individual customization per customer. This scroll table is a very real and flexible design, and I feel that it is a step in the right direction. I love the combining of color theory, graphic design and furniture design. I hope to see more great work from the Timorous Beasties.

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