Our steel was strong enough to travel the globe, our design can do the same. We Built The World is an art project created by Better, a brand agency born on Teesside and based in the former home of the forefathers of steel, Bolckow and Vaughan.
The project vision is to develop a collection of high quality limited edition screen prints that celebrate Teesside’s unique character, creativity and spirit of innovation. Our prints are aimed at anyone who likes accessible art, appreciates good design and has a fondness for the region.
Each item is uniquely designed by We Built the World and individually hand printed on GF Smith paper in collaboration with The Northern School of Art in Middlesbrough. Under 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.
Celebrating Teesside’s Innovation and Creativity
Our steel built the world. But our creativity changed the world. And it always will. The poem says: “A giant blue dragonfly / Across the Tees / Reminds us every night / We built the world.”
Yes… once upon a time, deep inside the mythical Ironopolis, gritty alchemists cast the spines of far away bridges. They forged the molten metal bones of foreign cities. And they rolled out the rails that kept the world on track. But the steel they brought to life is more than a memory.
It was made with more than just iron and carbon. It had two extra ingredients that burn brighter than any blast furnace: North East pride and ingenuity. The steel industry sprung from the same spirit of innovation that saved lives by inventing the lifeboat, the same spirit that shed light on coal mining with the Geordie Lamp, that same spirit lit those lamps by inventing the world’s first friction match. We built the world but we didn’t stop there.
Now we build brands as well as bridges, in the same buildings that once housed the fathers of the steel industry. Instead of steel railway tracks, our digital innovations travel worldwide–instantaneously–on fibre optic cables.
We’re hard grafters, good laughers, and fine crafters.
We’re inventive. We’re unstoppable. We built the world.
Better is a brand agency born in the North East with offices in Teesside and London. We build remarkable, relevant brands with real results. Since 2008, we’ve been crafting remarkably meaningful creative work driven by strategic thinking, authenticity and insight. We manage a portfolio of local, national and international brands, including everything from maritime and manufacturing to soft drinks and skin care.
From our window, we can see the world-famous Transporter Bridge. We were born and brought up in Teesside and we spend our spare time sampling all the diverse delights the area has to offer. We’re deeply devoted to the mighty Boro and, come rain or shine, our Saturday afternoons are spent on the terraces at the Riverside.
As an agency, we’re very proud of our Teesside roots, we’re a passionate local team, and we’re brimming with local talent. We've created We Built the World as an internal art project designed to celebrate our passion and commitment to Teesside.
Find out more about our work at better.agency.
Investing in Teesside
As a business with its heart in the creative and design industry, we invest heavily in supporting young talent and raising aspirations. Alongside our printing partnership with The Northern School of Art, we’re directly sharing profits to help the next generation of creatives realise their ambitions and reach their potential.
It’s a commitment that brings our story full circle. The art and design college, which has campuses in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, has been at the heart of our region since 1870 — around the same time that Teesside became the iron-making capital of the world. In the years that have followed, it’s become a staple of the regional creative scene, inspiring and nurturing artists, designers, and photographers from across the north and beyond. Alongside course leaders and experienced screen print technicians, our partnership will continue to support students and allow them to experience the complete creative process first hand, from idea and design to prep and print.
Our work with The Northern School of Art, and others such as the High Tide Foundation, Teesside University and BBC Bitesize focuses on opening young people’s eyes and minds to the diverse career opportunities in and around creative, media and design. We provide real world work experience which increases understanding, improves skills, raises confidence and builds aspirations.