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All Posts in Studio

February 10, 2017 - No Comments!

I Am An Amplifier

Just before Christmas, Paul Heys from SIA got in touch with us. He'd seen our Why U Reading This For project, and wanted to use the content for a work in context brief for their Level 2 students.

The brief was framed around Social Protest, underpinning the foundations of independence. Our uncensored street words made the perfect content, and students were assigned a word/phrase from the many we've found around Sheffield's streets.

Students were tasked with creating an A1 placard, under specific restrictions:
• Black and White only
• Typeset in Kong, Ivory, Incido or Plate Mono by Daniel Reed

Creating such specific rules would force them to think hard about the relationship between the words and overall composition.


This was a quick brief. From us briefing the students to the 'protest' the students had 1 week. From a personal level, this was really interesting task. When we started collecting street words, we avoided bastardizing the words or removing them from their context, something that the students were being instructed to do.

It was a nice little break from the norm, and also interesting to see how the content we're collecting can be used in other ways. All the placards looked great, but the below 3 caught our eye...

December 23, 2016 - No Comments!

Oh Bollocks – A Christmas Poem

T'was the week before Christmas,
When suddenly Ol cried,
'We forgot to send cards!'
'Oh bollocks!' Dave sighed.

They'd nailed the concept,
A real work of art,
Actually sending them to print,
would've been a good start.

'What will our clients think?
Will they forget we exist?'
Not if I know them,
They're probably all pissed.

They dashed to the printers,
With their print-ready design,
Alas, they were shut,
'Gone out for mulled wine'.

'I have an idea!
That will set us apart,
Let's give them a poem ,
That comes from the heart.'

'Let's raise a glass,
To Bowie and Prince,
To Ali and Rickman,
And pies full of mince.'

'To Wogan and Aherne,
To cancer: fuck you.
And to our continental cousins,
We still love EU.'

To planning, and printing,
And poems by candlelight,
Happy Christmas to all,
and to all a good night.

November 29, 2016 - No Comments!

Why U Reading This For?

Ever taken a picture of a hand drawn dick on the side of a bus stop, or laughed at some vulgar graffiti? If you answered yes, then you'll probably like our side project — Why U Reading This For?.
We like crudely drawn cocks and grammatically incorrect graffiti, and until a few months ago, we collected these hidden treasures for nothing more than to laugh at, and occasionally put one on Twitter.

We then thought it would be a good idea to showcase the poetic nature of the glorious street-word, and Why U Reading This For? was born. We love type, and we love Sheffield, so what better than a project highlighting the views of real Sheffield people, putting them across in their own way?

The name comes from a scruffily written message on Lady's Bridge — which sums up this project pretty perfectly.


Words are great. Throw a few together and they can make you feel something. Take those words and write them somewhere public, and it can create something hilarious, peculiar, and in some cases, a bit disturbing. And they're everywhere — and you don't even realise it. Political views, offensive phrases, random sentences, drug advice, sex advice, sinister warnings, dad jokes, music reviews, satire sayings, personal opinions, messages of love — it's all out there, and it's all bloody amazing.

why_u_reading_this_for_they_are_watching why_u_reading_this_for_private_barkingwhy_u_reasing_imagewhy_u_reading_this_for_boyfriends_nails why_u_reading_this_for_avocados

You can follow the project on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr. If you spot some street-words we haven't, please send them through to [email protected] or hit us up on Twitter.

July 29, 2016 - No Comments!

Glug Leeds – It’s Not So Grim Up North

We were recently asked to speak at Glug Leeds, and tell the story of how we came to work with the magical Grimm & Co, alongside some other talented people. It took place at Dukes Studios to a sold out crowd of 150+ people.

The theme of the night was 'It's Not So Grim Up North' and brought together Northern talent (Sheffield, Barnsley and Leeds) to show it's not all about being in London (#fucklondon).

We were given the 'headline 30 minutes slot' which seemed a bloody long time to talk, until we did a practice run which lasted well over 45 minutes. It was great to see other like-minded people, doing great shit in their own way. Special shout outs to Kyle and Kristyna who both did great talks.

All in all we had a blast and had a brilliantly inspiring night. We've done a few talks before but nothing this large, and never to solely our peers — still seems quite odd that people want to hear what we've got to say!

If you're not aware of Glug, check them out here — and get yourselves along to an event.



Sheffield Tap - pre train beers


Dave made a friend at Meadowhall station.


This Glug event was at Duke Studios in Leeds - a great co-working space.


Intense staring out competition.


Kyle Wilkinson on his mantra — Fuck it. What if...


Our talk started at the beginning. This image is from my 18th birthday — 11 years ago!


What we always try and remember.


I like this photo — people are laughing (possibly at us than with us)


Leeds based illustrator Kristyna Baczynski on how you can make wicked work and not have to work from London.


Home time.

February 11, 2016 - 12 comments

It’s Grimm up North

Way, way back in October ’14, we were contacted by a rather charming lady named Deborah. She sent us an ominous email, explaining how she was setting up a charity project and would we like to be involved. We had a chat, and she sold us this incredible idea of creating a children’s literacy centre inspired by the work of Dave Eggers and 826 Valencia in San Francisco. If you’re not aware of who Dave is or what 826 is, watch this. In summary, 826 Valencia is a writing centre hidden behind a shop for Pirates. Not a cliche joke shop - a real shop for real pirates walking around San Francisco. Since then there’s been many more in the US - Brooklyn Superhero Supply, The Time Travel Mart and many more weird and wonderful centres. The northern version, which we were asked to be a part of was to be in Rotherham, with the shop being an Apothecary for the Magical, called Grimm & Co. At this point we were rubbing our hands together - DREAM BRIEF KLAXON! The only catch - like with all the other centres, they’re created by everyone who comes on board donating their time for free. A big ask for a small studio, but one we couldn’t turn down.



Deborah with Dave Eggers.


As well as the amazing centres in the US, there’s also one in London - Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. Grimm & Co will sit alongside Hoxton, as part of the Ministry of Stories family. Back in December ’14 we went down to visit the Hoxton shop, and meet everyone involved. Not only does each centre have it’s own shop on the front, it’s a fully functional shop, who’s profit goes back into the running of the centre. Hoxton sell everything for the modern day Monster, from Fang Floss for vampires, to their tinned fear range (A Vague Sense of Unease is a personal favourite).



Hoxton Street Monster Supplies


Some of the products on offer at Hoxton.


Impacted Earwax (a.k.a fudge).



Grimm and Co is lucky enough to have Jeremy Dyson on their board, best known for writing for The League of Gentlemen, and more recently co-creating the West End play Ghost Stories. He wrote a back story to Grimm and Co, which explains why the shop exists, and who’s responsible for it. Grimm’s founder is a chap called Graham Grimm - a seventh son of a seventh son who had the gift to see magical creatures, and who used his skill to his advantage, by opening an Apothecary to serve them. It originated in 1148 (just before lunch).



Deborah Bullivant & Jeremy Dyson at the June awareness event.


We did a bit of a presentation at the awareness event on our work so far.




One of Grimm's many volunteers.


We expanded on the personality of Graham and gave him a voice. It was massively important for us to have a vision of who Graham is - how he'd talk, how he'd act and how he'd create his shop. His thrifty-ness set the tone for an ‘up-cycled way of doing things’. One of our most asked questions is, 'what would Graham do.'



Snapshot of our research.


Interior 'up-cycled' inspiration.


Icon sketches on the train back from visiting Hoxton.


Working up the Grimm monogram.


The Grimm (G&co) monogram we created.


Early, unused ideas.


3D render of the slide which will take children from the writing centre on the top floor, back into the shop on the ground floor.


Early, unused ideas.


Drop cap idea sketches.


More sketches.


Drop cap idea - unused.


Woodblock print tests.


Wood-burner tests.


Working on the (bloody massive) window designs.



In Spring ’15 Deborah secured the property - and she couldn’t have got a better place. The venue is the old Towngate pub in Rotherham, a huge space spreading over 3 floors. What started out as (in our heads at least) a branding job, had become branding, packaging, interior design and exterior signage. Along the way we spotted some incredibly fortunate things, like this image by Roanna Wells of a hand made wand - she’s now Grimm’s main wand-maker. Jack (a.k.a Metal & Dust) has made us some beautiful reclaimed pieces for the shop, and Dave's dad has done some joinery magic.




The old Towngate pub, and soon to be Grimm & Co.


How the Towngate pub looked.


Cosy corner (now something much more exciting).


Upstairs of the Towngate with a pool table on it's side. Obviously.


Taking in the view.


Dave taking a picture of me...


...taking a picture of him. Oh how we laughed.


Since the building was secured, we’ve been helping Deborah and her brilliant team of volunteers to turn an old pub, into the best creative venue the North has seen. It's been a massively challenging project, probably not helped by our desire to second guess our every decision. We've revisited the identity more times than I'd like to remember, and have said 'no' more than 'yes', to many ideas. That said, we wouldn't have it any other way.



Early building work - donated by Willmott Dixon.


Plans for downstairs - time kindly donated by our Architect friend Studio Van Hoorebeek.


On-going interior work, using a lot of salvaged pallets.


Some product development - a handmade 'Frog Spawn' soap.


Spent a small fortune on these. Probably used 3x the amount shown here.


Completely un-staged painting shot. Honest! Dave actually decorates like this.


Professional planning as always.


We've become competent scaffolding erectors.


No comment.


One of the volunteers, Lewis an Illustrator from Rotherham.


Working on the Imagination room.


Bestseller for the magical.


The Grimm monogram, wax seal of approval.


There will be lots and lots of bottles.


One of the volunteers, Chris.


More pallets and crates.


Close up of the signage. Created by Jack @ Metal & Dust.


Dave blending into the interior.


Roanna & Deborah talking wands.


Behind the counter.


Close up detail of packaging.


If you follow us on Instagram you've probably seen some behind the scenes bits and pieces. We've been careful not to give away too much - there's a fair few surprises up our sleeves. You can keep up to date with all things Grimm on Twitter or Facebook. Website coming soon.

We’re now less than 3 weeks from launch. Grimm & Co will open it’s doors 29th February 2016, 17 months after we started this project, and over 1000 hours of our donated time - we can’t bloody wait!


Crap photos by us. The really good ones by Helena Fletcher, another great person who's donated her time to the project.

February 4, 2016 - No Comments!

Menage à Trois?

We’re looking for a new friend.  Luke has gone to ‘find himself’ in some of the most questionable places on earth, so we need someone to replace him.

If your name is Luke, or are willing to change your name to Luke, that would be helpful, but not essential.

As ever we’re looking to stay small and selective, so apologies if we do not get back to everyone who applies.


What we’re after:
– Proper nice person (new bestie)
– Great designer
– Great potential designer
– Skills we don’t have
– Rationale and exciting concepts
– Strong branding and typography skills
– Confident, hungry and passionate
– Great taste in music

What we can offer:
– Work that excites us every day
– 4 day working week, 1 day play
– Trips to design conferences around the world
– Budget for exciting shit
– 20 - 30k
– A pot plant of your choosing
– A desk, a pen, a chair, a mug & there’s some couscous in the cupboard you can have too.


Apply for this job by emailing something to: [email protected]
or posting something to: Side by Side, OXO House, 4 Joiner St S3 8GW.

Please don’t limit yourself to CV’s & PDF portfolios. Excite us.

We’re busy, so don’t dilly dally.
Closing Date: As soon as we’ve found someone incredible.

Dave & Ol v-sign thumbs

January 19, 2016 - No Comments!

It’s not you, it’s me

Hello, your old friend Luke here!

Ol and Dave asked me to write a blog post to announce that as of Thursday this week I will no longer working at Side by Side. On the 4th of Feb I am going off on my travels around Asia with my fiancé El for about 6 months.

I guess writing this blog post is a happy sad thing for me, it’s been a crazy year and a half at Side by Side on a personal and professional level including Ol getting married, Dave having a child, me getting engaged and passing my driving test at the tender age of 25 part in thanks to Side by Side who paid for most of my lessons. Of course I am happy that I am going traveling but sad to be leaving the team having spent most of my waking hours with the guys since September 2014.

As a designer I have grown a lot at Side by Side and changed, I came in as a boy and left as a man, as Ol would like me to say. It’s been lots of good times and some hard times, in such a small studio we have to be able to tackle whatever comes through the door and whatever the client needs, at times it can be tough, especially being a young inexperienced designer and their first employee ever! It’s been a huge learning curve and hard to maintain a constantly high standard and way of thinking. But that said it’s been brilliant, I have been lucky enough to be right in the mix doing things I never thought I would do, every day presents something different and challenging to think about, Ol and Dave showed me that you really need to push your self and think bigger and better wherever possible. One piece of advice I’d like to leave Ol and Dave is to really trust your gut and be proud of what you have made.

Ols Wedding

Just want to take this opportunity to thank all the clients I have had the chance to work with, it's been a real pleasure!

I am having a bit of a social media ‘black out’ when I am away but I will be updating my irregular diary occasionally on my website:

Luke x




We’ll miss Luke. He’s a contradictory hipster, who loves an argument (sometimes about things that really don’t matter) and also shares our love of deep fried food covered in cheese. He’s been a big part of Side by Side, and it’ll feel weird not having him around. Although I won't miss having post-its reading 'I heart Dix' and 'Zombie Attack Imminent' stuck onto my back, on a daily basis.

Thanks Luke, here are your best bits...

Ol & Dave x


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October 14, 2015 - No Comments!

Present! Exhibition

Present! was the culmination of nearly a year's worth of work with my fiancé El. We started the whole idea of wanting to help street kids in India after a trip there in 2014. We came up with the idea of doing a week long exhibition, bringing together designers from across the world, with all of the proceeds going to an orphanage.  We had a great time doing it with the help of a few old pals from the year below us at Leeds College of Art who did the branding. It was fun, stressful and well worth doing.

The whole opening weekend felt really positive and this phrase 'design for good' kept getting thrown around, which left a really positive note. Doing this exhibition really made me think about design as a whole and it's a really self-serving industry all about doing that kick ass brief, being awesome and being the best. Not often enough does design get done just for good, just to help other people.

Anyway, now it's all over we have all the prints up for sale in our shop including the Side by Side print 'Don't Lose Touch' featuring our WIP typeface 'No Dice'. There's also my own personal print, featuring my hero Gandhi and one of his most meaningful quotes that really sums up why El and I did the exhibition. All of the prints are available as postcards as well; they're printed on Fedrigoni paper by Pressision in Leeds - amazing, top people who really helped us.

Below are a selection of images from the launch night. Thanks to everyone who could make it.


The window graphics on the outside of the gallery.


This was the first thing people saw as they walked in, explaining what the exhibition was all about.


Some visual evidence that people actually came and stood and chatted and drank.


Our Dave can't switch off the creativity, we asked him to stop drawing on the walls, but he just loves a Posca.


My friend Joe checking out my print. I promise this wasn't staged he just was looking.


My beautiful fiancé El on the left with Nicole, a great photographer.


A great little wooden sign advertising the talks on Sunday made with love by Abbas, Sam and Seb of the newly formed Leeds studio Alphabet, who helped us do all the ace graphics for the show.


We made a video that was on loop at the show of old Bollywood films.


There she is, the Side by Side print in all of its glory.


A shot of Malika Favre who contributed a print, as well as to the kickstarter and took part in a Q&A on the Sunday which was great.


I will end on a slide from Craig Oldham's talk that really hit home with me.

August 5, 2015 - No Comments!

100 Glyphs Project

Back in April, we set ourselves the challenge of taking part in the 100 day project. We set ourselves the task of creating 100 glyphs - 1 each day for 100 days, made however we liked. We learnt some new process, refined ones we'd already tried, and created accidental results we never set out to create.

Here are all 100 glyphs. Enjoy!





































































































June 24, 2015 - No Comments!

Just Do Good Shit: The Event

We had our first Just Do Good Shit event a few days ago. The private view was on Friday with a public opening on the Saturday - both were a big success (people actually came and stayed).

This was the first time we'd run an event, and whilst it went really smoothly, things got put back, including our own piece for JDGS. We had the idea to create a mosaic - a tongue-in-cheek take on creating a bathroom floor for the good shit - childish yes but what did you expect from us?

We popped over to our clients, Yorkshire Tile Company (shameless plug) and bought lots of tiles, adhesive, grout and other tile 'stuff'. We used the type created for the posters as the base, then started laying out the tiles.




The first issue we came up against was the size of the tile - it would have looked great on a bigger scale, but they were too big for the A1 size we were working too. We opted to cut down all the tiles and created a more organic mosaic (AKA crazy paving). 3pm – Midnight and we'd got all our tiles stuck down. The next day we stuck on some trim, tidied it up and grouted the lot. We're now available for tiling kitchens and bathrooms at very competitive rates.






Once that was done we shot our picture and got it off to print. This was very last minute (the morning of the show) and the print we got back a few hours later we weren't very happy with, so it was a mad dash to get another. We managed to get a super quick print from the guys at ASAP - big thanks to them. Morale of the story - don't leave it til the last minute.


Each piece was accompanied by some text written by the designer. Here's ours...

We work in branding, mainly. We are not tilers. We expand our skill set by trying lots of techniques. Although we now hate tiling. We curated this exhibition to encourage experimentation – sometimes it's nice to design something without any limitations or reason. We like to mix an element of craft into projects we undertake. It keeps computers at a safe distance. The most important thing we've learnt is to 'Just Do Good Shit’. If you do good shit, other good shit will follow. Commercial karma. JDGS has become a bit of an ethos, so we wanted to create something that will last longer than a piece of paper. It seemed appropriate to utilise the age-old resilience of mosaic. Using, of course, bathroom tiles. I hope that one day someone unearths this plaque in a field and thinks 'What the fuck was this all about’.

The Friday night PV went really well, probably better than we expected. Loads of people, all getting involved by discussing their favourite piece. It was really interesting to us to see how other designers perceived each piece, and there were some clear favourites.




The public view was over the full day, and so we had a constant trickle of people rather than 1 full room, which was nice as it gave us chance to have a chat and ask them their opinions. Again, really interesting to see how people not in the 'design bubble' perceive things differently. Having a bakery in the same room is also very useful for quickly getting rid of a hangover.

It's been great to see people tweeting and instagraming the exhibition. As part of our entry, we took along the mosaic so people could take their own 'Just Do Good Shit selfies'...


All in all we had a blast. A lot of work but well worth it. If you didn't get down and still haven't seen the work, all posters are up on the Just Do Good Shit website.

Our aim has always been to grow JDGS and open it up to more designers, in more places and on a bigger scale. We're looking forward to seeing that happen.