The design studio Timorous Beasties was founded in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who met while studying textile design at Glasgow School of Art. By depicting uncompromisingly contemporary images on traditional textiles and wallpapers, Timorous Beasties has defined an iconoclastic style of design that has been described as "William Morris on acid".
However, Alistair and Paul see themselves as part of a print tradition. "A lot of our work features images that can look traditional. This comes from a love of certain traditional elements, like academic drawing, use of complicated repeats, and the hand-printed quality of inks."