Design studio DR.ME shares its most inspirational books

2 August 2017
Reading Time
6 minute read

DR.ME is a creative studio we’ve celebrated many times over the years. Known for creating work with its hands, the studio’s collage-based design has inspired many. Made up of Ryan Doyle (DR) and Mark Edwards (ME), the pair met on their first day at university at Manchester School of Art.

Since that fateful day, the studio has gone on to create work for a whole host of clients including Young Turks records, Manchester International Festival, Polypro, Ninja Tune, Tri Angle Records, and Red Bull Music Academy among others. Last year also saw DR.ME also published its first book, Cut That Out, which you can learn more about here.

To get an insight into what’s inspired Ryan and Mark’s process and work we asked them to share what’s made it onto their bookshelves over the years. It’s a real mix of art and design: highlights include an honest depiction of a designer’s struggle, Bart Simpson’s guide to life and Peter Doig’s painted film posters.

Richard Prince: American Prayer

Richard Prince love him or hate him has always been a huge inspiration to me – the modern master of re-appropriation. Anytime I come across one of his publications whether that be a collection of poems (Menthol Wars_) or a tribute to Bettie Page and Franz Kline (_Bettie Kline) I always try and collect these publications, if I can afford it. I saw one recently when in LA which was on sale for $1,600 so had to give that one a miss unfortunately, although I was allowed to look at it.

This particular publication American Prayer was given to me on my 25th birthday by a dear friend, it’s definitely my favourite because it not only features nearly all of Prince’s work minus the Instagram series but also features photographs and documentation of his favourite books – things he has collected over 30 years, pieces of text he has found inspirational in some way. It’s like a complete insight into his entire back catalogue of work and ideas and has led to many an inspiration for me through researching further into books he references or just sitting and reading through the vast amounts of text experts and interviews. And it’s so huge you always come across something you haven’t seen before.
— Ryan Doyle


I love Peter Doig’s work. He is probably one of the greatest painters alive today in my opinion and his story is fascinating which comes across in his paintings. This particular book I bought just because I wanted a Peter Doig book and I came across this. I had no idea what it was, I had seen his film posters but didn’t realise it was for a film club he set up in his studio on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 2003.

He would paint a film poster to announce the what he was showing. I love the fact that all these posters are completely hand painted and having a poster each on page really gives each the justice it deserves. Every one is amazing and it was way too difficult to only choose three spreads from this book. If you’re into films and painting I recommend you check this out.
— Ryan Doyle

Matt Groening: Bart Simpson’s Guide To Life

This is the first book I remember owning and to this day is still one of my favourites. I have a very clear memory of being a school child and taking this to school and, with friends, we would hide somewhere so no one could see us looking at the “sex” chapter which ended up having so many grubby fingerprints all over it. It’s a completely innocent chapter about “where do babies come from?” and “Bart and Lisa’s top 10 preconceived notions about boys and girls” but it felt taboo when at school.

It’s a wild book filled with crazy pages all completely different and packed with drawings and useful/useless information on “how to annoy your parents”, “museum etiquette”, “how to be a transcontinental troublemaker” and “how to get out of any fight” all told from the point of view of Bart Simpson. Even though it’s a kids book its still funny to look through now and The Simpsons has always in some way or another been an influence to me, inspiring the zine we made in 2010 ART SIMPSON. A real guide to life.
— Ryan Doyle

James Victore: Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss

Towards the end of our time working for Mike Perry from his rad studio in Brooklyn in 2010, he told us that although he had something on, we should go to a book launch at the SVA by one of his heroes James Victore. He had a brilliant print on his wall by JV which we’d long admired so we went along and caught the launch which manifested as an onstage talk between the books designer Paul Sahre, James Victore and was chaired by Michael Beirut.

This book is always one that we recommend to students. It is a brutal and honest depiction of a designer’s struggle from failing at art college to acclaimed success – all told with James’ typical knee slapping Texan sense of humour. When discussing how the book should be designed apparently Sahre had two requests: it be sideways and it be set in Helvetica, both were agreed to. A third seemingly unspoken request was that all the pages be black printed, although perhaps not great for the planet it gives the book the most amazingly overpowering smell of ink when you first open it which, for me, really adds to the overall package.
— Mark Edwards

Yokoland: Yokoland: As We Go Up We Go Down

I think I got this at some point when I was studying, it was like nothing else I’d seen before. A lot of design monographs end up turning into a bit of a catalogue. Not this. There are no lengthy explanations about printing methods or client meetings. Instead there is just page after page of super bright imagery, intermingled with occasional inter-studio interviews, travel journal-style emails and lots of early shots of the work the studio first made. As it was published in 2006 by the great Gestalten it should probably feel a bit dated but I think that, due to the energy throughout, it still has a really refreshing quality to it and as it was a snap shot of roughly their first five years as a studio is a vital read for anyone interested in starting their own studio that has a bit of character.
— Mark Edwards

Dot Dot Dot: Dot Dot Dot: 9

The first time we visited New York we made the pilgrimage to the original location of one of my favourite shops in the world – Printed Matter, which has now moved to a larger space on 11th Avenue. This place (guess I’m preaching to the choir here somewhat) is a zine/art book mecca, you are as likely to pick up a hand finished zine by Raymond Pettibon as you are a beautiful limited edition publication by a brilliant print maker that you’d never heard of before.

Anyway, I digress, I’d never heard of Dot Dot Dot at the time but was instantly attracted to it by the variety of the writing and the style of the design inside. Images of collaged works by Polish poster artist Roman Cieślewicz sit alongside writings by Ryan Gander and type pieces made in tribute to Sol LeWitt have helped to make for a publication that I’ve come to cherish and is now well thumbed.
— Mark Edwards

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

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