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September 7, 2017 - No Comments!

An Indian Adventure

Way back at the end of April we traveled to India for an intense week-long research trip. The trip was to open our eyes to the demographic and culture for the largest rebrand we've taken on so far: India's largest manufacturer of water pumps. Research is a fundamental part of any project we undertake, especially when it's for a culture we're less familiar with.

When you think of Indian water pumps, a design studio in Sheffield doesn't necessarily spring to mind. Last year we worked on a rebrand for Texmo Precision Castings -  based in the UK, but with a production plant in the US & India. The rebrand was well received, which opened up a conversation with the Indian water pump company about working together. Their vision is one of innovation and quality, with a visual identity that hasn't changed in 10 years. It had been added to over the years, which had only added to the visual confusion. They also liked the idea of working with a western studio, to bring a different thought process than what they were used to in India.

We packed our bags, had 64 injections and set off on a sweaty adventure.


Health & Safety.

Street warnings.

More street warnings.

Major chafing.

Our time was short, and our itinerary heavy. We flew from Heathrow to New Delhi, and then directly to Coimbatore in the south which was our base for a few days. We had a drive over to Kerala, then flights to Bangalore, Pune and then back up north to New Delhi. Our time was spent speaking to company management, conducting workshops with the in-house design team, and traveling the country to visit the local dealerships (they have nearly 1500 dealers throughout India).


First class of course : |

Ol ACTUALLY uses his top pocket. Never seen that before.

Horse power.

Something quite random on every street corner.

Stopped on a busy motorway for a warm coconut. Food poisoning here we come...

Hello food poisoning!

Lovely isn't it Ol?


Ok I think it's time to leave.

India has a strong and fierce water pump market. Water pumps are a necessity for everyone in India, it's like the equivalent of having a boiler over here. The agriculture sector depends on them to feed their crops, as do the small rural villages and the huge cities to bring water into their homes and businesses.

What is very different to what we're used to is the buying culture. The local farmers will group together and travel to a dealership together (sometimes driving for hours) to purchase a pump. It's seen to many as a day out to celebrate, rather than an inconvenience.


Dave made a friend.

Indian street words.

Well, are you?

Bangalore > Pune

Oliver watching pictures of himself sleeping.

The horn in India is used more than the brakes.

We were already slightly obsessed with the colour and vibrancy of Indian typography, from the wall paintings to the incredible lorries and trucks. This vibrancy is carried visually throughout India, so much so that everything starts to blend into one, screaming for attention. This was great for us to see, as the odd piece of advertising which chose to be simple and stripped back grabbed your attention, a tactic we could look to use ourselves.




Like you need a reminder.

Dave struggled with the concept of the travel pillow.

A beautiful part of Pune. In the distance, the sound of horns.

Local farmers we made friends with.

Give it 6 months & Uber will be delivering TVs like this.

Crossing the road is always fun/suicidal. The adverts on the building opposite give an idea on the typical piece of Indian advertising - show everything you sell at once.


Products ready for shipping.

Vibrant wall paintings.

These are for the local elections. Better than our boring shite.

IVF/Test Tube Baby.

Our hotel in New Delhi had a glass wall. You've gotta keep that romance alive.

The real champion of the trip was Dave's suitcase. Completely fucked after the first flight and lasted another 4 with some amateur taping.


We didn't hit the tourist spots (for the whole week we saw 1 or 2 other westerners) and so got to see the 'real India' which is a beautiful place in parts, and a chaotic headache in others. The security process at the airport is a joke, the roads are madness and it gets slightly hotter than the surface of the sun, other than that it's an amazing place. We took an awful lot from our short visit - it answered a lot of questions and gave us a real insight into the cultural diversity of the country, which in turn makes our never-ending strive for a great idea with sound rationale a little easier. All in all it was an invaluable experience.


We're well into the project, and have just presented the first stage of work with the client, who were very happy, thankfully (there was even a high-five thrown in half way through). A large part of the first stage is a bespoke typeface which we're working with Indian Type Foundry to make a reality. English is well spoken/read in India, but we're also working with Devanagari, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada which is as challenging as it is interesting.


We're now planning stage 2, which includes a full rollout and digital application. We'll be showing some of our rejected routes and ideas in a few weeks, with a rough timescale of launching the rebrand early 2018.

A note on Delhi belly. It is real. Ask Dave.

July 27, 2017 - No Comments!

5 things I learnt at Side by Side

It's my last day interning at Side by Side today. Here are 5 of the main things I learnt from being with Dave & Ol.

Side by Side intern

1. They are embarrassing

Before I started with Side by Side, I had a preconception that they would be fairly “normal”. I didn’t realise they would have the mental age of 12 year olds. They took the piss out of me a LOT and embarrassed me in front of their friends (ask Rich Wells and Lisa Maltby). They made me laugh a lot, because I don’t take myself too seriously like them. It’s been cool to work with people that you have a good dynamic with, only crying* on the odd occasion.

*with laughter.


Side by Side Intern

2. Do some graftin’

To keep in theme with our Love Island conversations; Dave & Ol have done some good grafting to get where they are, getting pied & mugged off along the way. The way they cracked on putting type on paper, giving it extra showed to me that it’s good to not put all your eggs in one basket and learn the ropes before going to Nikki Beach.

Translation: Learning the trade before going freelance.


Side by Side Intern

3. Small = cool

Seeing how a small studio works was different to how I’d imagined, it was more relaxed in the sense we could still have a laugh even when working hard. It also felt like my input mattered more because there were only three of us. I really liked this atmosphere; different personalities will suit different ways of working. I haven’t worked in a bigger studio before so have nothing to compare it to (which I will experience at Jaywing in August!), but it has made me more confident that one day I would like to work for myself.


Side by Side Intern

4. Variety is a strength

At uni I studied illustration, where to be a successful illustrator you aim to be known for your “style”. I struggled with this a lot prior to coming to Side by Side because I love variety, but also love being crafty and hands on. They did too which was reassuring because I didn’t want to be restricted to one thing, which before meeting them I thought would be the reality. Because of their approach, it has made me see the work I make a lot differently. I feel more like a designer, opposed to just an illustrator.


Side by Side Intern

5. Practice

From the first day I started at Side by Side, I wanted to make cool coffee art using their snazzy coffee machine. At first it was shit, and after months of intense practice I am now definitely less shit. The point being the same for design. I naively thought I would be able to pick up everything that is thrown at me straight away because I won’t shy away from things, but I realized that it wasn’t realistic to get everything right - and that it is normal to take time to be the crema the crop (LOL).


I’m looking forward to the future and learning more following this great experience. If you would like to see my freelance work check out my Instagram, website, twitter or LinkedIn.

I’m very grateful for the opportunities Dave & Ol have given me, and the many things I’ve learned from them. Even though they have broken me with their teasing, I’ve made two half decent friends, making up a whole one!

Peace out.


May 24, 2017 - No Comments!

Summer Intern

We’re looking for friend to help us out on some exciting design projects over the Summer.
There’ll be an unlimited supply of design goodness & ice-cold Mr Freeze. Oh yeah 🔆🍦🍹👌.

You’ll be working on:
• A big rebrand project
• A crazy interior design project
• A very unusual website redesign
• Some sexy food typography

Apply Now

If this sounds up your street, and your portfolio reflects some of the above, then send us a cover letter & PDF portfolio, telling us why you’d be good for the role.
We’re looking for someone to work here throughout June & July 2017. Applicants must be local & available 9am-5.30pm Mon-Fri.

We’re looking to make a decision by 31st May. Don’t hold back. Do excite us.
(you may want to read this first)

Email to:
[email protected]

Post to:
Side by Side
OXO House,
S3 8GW

See you soon!
Please bring the Mr Freeze, we don't actually have any.

May 3, 2017 - No Comments!

Handmade Typography Book

Last year we got one of those 'we'd like your work in our book' emails. We've had quite a few of them and always thought they were just some rubbish that would never go on to actually get published. But this one sounded quite interesting, so we thought we'd reply...

It's titled 'The Making of Artistic Typefaces' published by SendPoints. You can read more about it here, or buy it here. Yes, the design of the book itself is a little ropey (too liberal with the cutting mat background) but the content inside is great.


Tactile Typography

We were asked to write a foreward for it, which was nice. It went a little like this:

Values and Importance of Handcrafted Type
Handcrafted type has become the next inevitable step for designers striving to push boundaries. Simply taking type from a 2D environment, like paper or screen, into the real world unlocks an infinite amount of outcomes. With designers struggling to stand out in a digital age, stepping away from the computer has proven to be the answer.


3D Typography

Kiehls Tactile Typography by Noelia Lozano.

The mixture of typography with substance can bring a flat piece of design to life. It allows the audience to interact with a piece and can evoke reactions that cannot be brought on by type alone. For example, the word 'honey' dripping in glistening, runny, golden honey will always be more appealing than the word simply typeset in a nice font.


Food Typography

Process behind our food typography for Sainsbury's.

Handcrafted work often has subtle imperfections, which only add to the authenticity of the design. It is these faults that show the viewer the piece is real and that many hours have gone into constructing it. It is important to not over-edit these typographic pieces, for fear they will appear more like 3D renders.



The world's largest poster, by SNASK.

The scale of this handcrafted type revolution spans from the microscopic NYC Subway typography by Craig Ward to the world’s largest poster, made for Malmo Festival by Stolkholm-based SNASK. We also have influential figures such as Stefan Sagmeister who’s studio took a year away from client work to create ‘Things I Have Learned’ – a book covering all manor of handmade typographic responses to this question.


Christmas card by Green Chameleon.

With thousands of great typefaces available online, it can often seem too easy to simply pick one for your design. This has led to designers looking back to freehand forms of lettering such as signwriting to inspire their handcrafted pieces. As with any other new craft there’s a big learning curve involved. Many pieces require reworking, due to the unknown nature of their matter. This means that time is a very important requirement. Allow time for mistakes and time to fully test and understand your substance when quoting a new job.


Match Type, by Vitor Silva Paiva for singer Cazuza.

To stay ahead of the game today’s graphic designer needs to be as comfortable with a drill, chisel, or tweezers, as they are with a pencil or mouse.


Typography Book

Typography for Meadowhall by Kyle Wilkinson.

What’s next in Handcrafted Type?
There’s been a large rise in food typography over the last couple of years. This stems from food being relatively cheap to work with, readily available and usually very pliable. Artists like Marmalade Bleue and Becca Clason have carved out a niche in this area and are reaping the rewards of being the ‘go-to’ food typographers. They are furthering their skillset by creating stop-motion and time-lapse videos of their work in progress.


Food Type

Food Typography for Sainsbury's, by us. Mice ate the Chorizo piece.

Creating these typographic pieces purely for social networking is also on the rise. The playful imagery is easy to consume, like & retweet, and has been used by UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s in their latest campaign with Side by Side: ‘Twist Your Favourites’. The rise of social media, and in particular Instagram will only make handcrafted type more popular, with the main curated typography accounts pulling in followers of over half a million. People love looking at typography. Social media channels also enable people who may not necessarily have a design background, to interact and create type pieces, as it continues to cross the disciplines between art and design.


Flower Typography

Branding for 'Wanto 3 - Aroma Living'.

This trend isn’t likely to stop any time soon. It’s a natural progression in design to explore new ways of being creative. Opening your mind to working with new materials is the next logical step in the constant pursuit of effective graphic communication. In many cases, the best pieces use materials in ways people have never seen before, which usually results in a ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ moment.


Book Index, FYI.

April 19, 2017 - 2 comments

OFFF Barcelona 2017

It seems a lifetime ago already, but we spent a few days in sunny Barcelona at the beginning of April for OFFF. Eating burgers, drinking beer and listening to inspiring talks.

We're fully aware of the impact these events can have. Visiting Offset in Dublin back in 2014 was a catalyst for how our design direction developed. We went to that event as fairly young, naive designers, and our eyes were well and truly opened to the vast array of incredible work, and equally incredible designers that we share this industry with. When visiting OFFF, we went with a different mindset — thinking that we wouldn't get as much from it as we're more aware of the industry. We couldn't have been further from the truth....

OFFF takes places at the Design Museum of Barcelona every year. We intended to go last year, but my strong allegiance to my beloved Sheffield Wednesday meant I was at Wembley (fuck you Hull). On that subject, I received this lovely text from Dave moments after we lost the Playoff Final. This year it was a month earlier which meant football didn't get in the way.

Museu del Disseny, the venue for OFFF

We avoided spending too much time looking at lineup before hand. It's always nice to hear tales from the well known 'celeb designers', but as is often the case for us, it's the designers people we've not yet come across that we get the most from. I say people over designers, as OFFF is about bringing together a vast array of talent from many different disciplines: animation, film, art, design, illustration, and the experience is so much richer for it.

View from our hotel by the marina. Our yacht is the one just to the right of the pirate ship. 

The OFFF identity was by Outro studio this year, and was based around growing all senses

The 3 days were packed with talks from 11.00am til 9.30pm across 3 stages. The main stage is a huge room, which was often too full (a United Airlines nightmare) with people sat on the floor, as well as a smaller stage outside and an auditorium. We saw some amazing people: Outro Studio, Leta Sobierajski & Wade Jeffree, Anton & Irene, Gmunk, Mr Kat, Calvin Sprague, Anthony Burrill and Joshua Davis to name a few, as well as watching Stefan Sagmiester's documentary The Happy Film.

Leta Sobierajski & Wade Jeffree. Relationship goals.

Anton & Irene with a great Lance Wyman quote. He told Irene this in a taxi.

Anton & Irene — good advice.

Outro Studio. It's nice when other people do the same as you do.

We found a bit of time in-between talks to see a few sights, and spot some streetwords. Dave also treat us to a classy pair of socks. Rather than choose Kanye or Drake, we took one sock each. We'll be wearing odd socks at important meetings from now on.

Hip Hop socks designed by 'Cool Shit'.

Streetwords near Museu del Disseny.

Torre Agbar - A colourful Gherkin.

Streetwords near Museu del Disseny. Weirdly the same tag is on the street behind our studio.

They're really milking this job.

THE Lady Gaga.


So, what did we take from OFFF? There were 5 common traits we noticed...

Most studios we saw weren’t fancy-pants studios, with agencies across the globe, shipping container meeting rooms and more ping pong tables than staff.

They were rough little places, producing great work, but behind the scenes they were small and DIY.

One set of speakers' favourite place was the local $1 shop – they bought all their props from there. Which goes to show you don’t need big agency budgets to produce great work. It makes us less conscious about our regular trips to B&M.


Another big thing that came across was the love within these small studios. Studios of 2-6 people, collaborating on great little projects. Or working together with other small studios in other disciplines. It’s good to be small. Small = Creative. No project managers or account managers muddying the water.

At the heart of these creative hubs are teams working towards a common goal: produce great work that they love. Leta & Wade’s Compliments project is a lovely example of this if you haven’t seen it.


We’ve said it for quite a while now, but it was nice to hear it from other studios too.

Side projects are everything. They allow us to experiment, fail, learn and create without any limitations or clients to please.

We don’t do any sort of marketing/sales/outreach. Clients simply see the cool stuff we put out and want a piece of the action.

Yes, they sometimes make you poor and yes, they sometimes end up in the bin. But occasionally it works.

GMUNK said he invested £750 in LEDS, to make an experimental video. That video lead to Adobe seeing it and paying him good money, then Audi seeing the Adobe work and paying him even bigger money, then Microsoft seeing the Audi work & paying even better money.

It’s very simple:
Do good things > New client sees good things > New client wants it > Cycle continues.

Studio Outro said: 'Ensure all side projects are Small, Fast and Fun'.

Anton & Irene differed, their side projects took over 60% of their working lives, and some spanned years. Like this great project on NYC buildings, and this documentary into a lesbian commune.


This was echoed by a lot of speakers throughout the talks. The issue for creatives is:
We’re innately creative. Too many things excite us on a daily basis. We’re like magpies.
So specialising in one thing is like wearing a straight jacket.

We realised we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone more.
We get branding, we love it, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the strategy, when you’d really rather be pissing about with lasers, or making a poster.

A child-like curiosity is a good thing, and one we hope to nurture more.


Many of the speakers were incredibly humbled to be talking at OFFF. Adam J Kurtz said ‘I have no idea what I’m doing here’. He couldn’t understand why so many people liked his work, but they do!

A lot of these presenters hadn’t been designing for 20 years. They hadn’t worked with huge names, but that didn’t matter. Their lack of experience was overshadowed by their huge passion and ability to DO.



It was all over too quick, but reiterated to us the importance of going to these type of events. We're very much 'get off the computer', but we can fall into the trap of getting lost in our little bubble of work. Having the time to get away from the day to day running of a small studio and be exposed to quality work and inspiring stories is a necessity for us.

To summarise, here’s 5 things we took away from OFFF:

— Don’t become complacent, ever.
— Open up to more collaborations.
— Be proud of our size – it’s exciting to be small.
— Video/moving graphic work reaches emotions that still static graphics sometimes cannot.
— Keep going, we’re on the right path...

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.