News that Elmwood chairman Jonathan Sands has been awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list sent a warm glow around the design community. Sands’ proclivity to being a design activist extend back almost 20 years so his ’services to the creative industries’ are in no doubt.

Apart from building the Leeds-based branding consultancy into a global network, with offices in London, Edinburgh, New York, Melbourne and Singapore and a reputation for sound, effective design, and Sands has worked assiduously to promote UK design on the one hand and Elmwood’s native Yorkshire on the other.

He was chairman of the Design Business Association in the mid-1990s and an instigator of the Halifax Initiative to address design representation to Government and industry. He has served on the Royal Society of Arts Council and on the Design Council council, and
was until recently chairman of the UK Design & Skills Alliance.

Despite his success, Sands remains down to earth. His ’earthiness’ is perhaps best exemplified by the renaming of a waste disposal client
as Serious ** as part of a rebranding programme. The project has won just about every creative accolade going.

Latest articles