Celebrating Teesside’s character, creativity and innovation

Our steel built the world. But our creativity changed it..

The very first We Built the World collection features high-quality screen prints that celebrate Teesside’s unique character, creativity and spirit of innovation. They’re aimed at anyone who likes accessible art, appreciates good design and has a fondness for the region.

Dorman Long.

Each product has been uniquely designed by We Built the World, from our studio based in the former home of the forefathers of steel, Bolckow and Vaughan. They’re inspired by the ideas, inventions and attitudes of our region. They positively remind people of home, of where they come from and why that’s good. They even raise spirits and smiles as well as the bar.

Our prints live in the crossover between pleasing ambiguity and visceral impact. We make accessible art not baffling thought pieces or long dull lectures. If we say so ourselves, the results are beautifully bold, fine crafted and fun. In other cases, they’re impactful, intricate and intriguing. Yet hopefully they never alienate the viewer or require a lengthy explanation. We want people to get some degree of instant gratification without needing a degree in art appreciation. You may love some of our prints and hate others. Either way, they should always provoke a reaction and that reaction should never be “So what.”

Spanning the Globe.

One thing our prints don’t contain is unfiltered local cliches; neither do they descend into souvenir tat. We’re forward facing, forward thinking and forward moving. It’s one of our cast iron commandments to make sure that any celebration of the past is done in an innovative and inventive way that celebrates the skills and direction we have today. Just as we’ve done with River of Steel and Pig Tales — both inspired by our industrial past, yet rethought, reworked and reimagined through the lens of today’s design.

River of Steel.

Elsewhere, we’ve developed our own take on local colloquialisms with It’s all Mint, and referenced some of the bridges that were made in Teesside and connect the world with Spanning the Globe.

Each product is part of either our Collector’s Collection or Unlimited Collection. The Collector’s Edition prints are available in a limited edition run of 50 prints for a limited time only. No reprints. No pre-orders. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Meanwhile, the Unlimited Collection will feature the mainstay of our prints. These are the design classics and house staples that will always be at the heart of We Built the World.

Strike Now!

They’re also split into Inventions, Landmarks, People and Typography. Each category brings together key themes and feelings that epitomise Teesside’s cultural conscience. Naturally, there’s some crossover as design elements merge with the people and structures that built the world.

From match striking burgundy to Bolckow ocean blue and gold metallic mint, our prints are individually screen printed on GF Smith paper in collaboration with The Northern School of ArtUnder the guidance of an experienced screen print technician and course leader, the process allows students to experience the complete creative journey first hand, from idea and design to prep, print and posting.

All items are A1 (594mm x 841mm), individually signed and numbered with a certificate of authenticity. They’re also delivered in 100% recyclable and sustainable packaging.

View the full collection here.