Have You Met Harold & Pip? The Faces of Bird & Bear, Dundee

“We’re calling the bar ‘Bird and Bear‘.”

“What a brilliant name” I replied with a big smile, “so what’s their story?”

“We don’t know yet, but you’re good at telling stories, would you like to come up with ours?”

Without even the slightest hesitation I said yes. What a great opportunity. Before I knew it I was writing the story of Harold and Pip, with a few fun tweaks from AJ. The story of the unlikely friends who came together and changed each other’s lives, and of those around them can be found in the menus.

Words and ideas were already bouncing around on my page, then drawings began to emerge too. Harold and Pip were born.

Bird and Bear cheesplant background by WhimSicAL LusH
Harold and Pip of Bird and Bear Dundee
You can find the story of Harold and Pip in the menus.

Phil had a strong vision of the new bar and it has worked so well. I just love the modern victorian inspired colour palette with the clever copper steampunk-esque fittings, the quirky wallpapers and sumptuous seating. It’s a feast for the eyes with photo opportunities a plenty.

As long as I remember I have surrounded myself with plants and greenery and my flat is a bit of an indoor jungle, filled with curios and art that I have collected along the way. So when I was invited to design the window display I immediately jumped at the chance of filling the space with beautiful big statement plants, bare sculptural bulbs and vintage birdcages.

The huge statement copper lamps hanging over the copper bar top look wonderful from the mezzanine restaurant area, contrasting beautifully with the birdcages and plants which frame the large victorian windows looking out over Slessor Gardens. If you look out towards the south you will be delighted with great views of the new V&A.

The window ties in heavily with the story of Bird and Bear. Harold freed Pip from her cage, and her friends too, so the bird cages are those from the story. You will spot too, that every single cage is empty. The birds have all been freed by Harold and can be found dotted around the bar, in the beautiful vintage prints that I selected and also in the big hand painted mural in one of the cosiest corners. Spot Pip cosied up safe in Harold’s arms, joined by cheeky little Worm and Rita. If you look very carefully you may even spot Bob. He’s off exploring.


Hand painting onto wallpaper… Harold is beginning to emerge.
The finished mural

Detailed gold hanging dividers catch the eye and create cosy corners and nooks throughout the upstairs and downstairs spaces. I enjoy creating repeating patterns within my illustration work and was delighted to have the opportunity to use that element of my work in the bar.

Repeating patterns that started off on my page are now golden and hanging up to divide up the various spaces in the bar.


The illustration work continued from the walls onto the menus…

AJ McMenemy creating cocktail magic behind the copper topped bar that he designed.

… and then moved outside too, giving Harold and Pip one of the best views in town looking over Slessor Gardens in the heart of the new Dundee Waterfront.

I created separate assets of beautiful monstera and palm leaves leaves from my mural and window display that could be used on all the literature and as backgrounds to the main characters.

Monstera Leaves by WhimSicAL LusH

It’s great getting to collaborate with other creatives when working on projects, and for this one we worked with Creative Graffix who put together all the menus. I always enjoy seeing what graphic designers will do with my illustrations, often pushing them in directions I would never have considered.

I have really enjoyed working alongside Phil and AJ on this project. Being part of the team at Bird and Bear is like being part of a brilliant, passionate, creative and talented family. Not only does the space look and feel quirky, warm and welcoming, the drinks are incredible and the food is brilliant. Hip Hop at Brunch is fast becoming a Dundee favourite at weekends as everyone gets together with brunch, tunes and friends and during the week it’s the perfect place to meet up for work or play!


**** Breaking News****

Its really exciting to announce that Bird and Bear have been nominated for ‘Most Stylish Bar’ in the Scottish Style Awards


More news in today (March 18th)… 

Very proud to see Bird & Bear listed as one of the most fashionable places to be seen in Scotland by Herald Scotland 🌿 Just a bit delighted to get a shout out too as their artist and illustrator! 💚🌿💚 Thank you! 😘

Great to see Dundee Contemporary Arts in there as well. Go team Dundee 💚

You can read the article here: The 25 most fabulously fashionable places to be seen in Scotland




Testimonial From Phil Donaldson:

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Suzanne Scott now on a couple of projects. She was at the heart of developing the branding and illustrations for one of our highly acclaimed bars Bird & Bear which is set at the newly developed waterfront area in Dundee.

She also created a fantastic piece of wall art within the bar itself which has become iconic and extremely “instagram worthy”, you can’t fail to see it in the background of our many customer posts on social media. 

Suzanne was an integral part in the finished design of the project and almost became my design consultant throughout. The bar is currently up for the award of Scotland’s most stylish bar in the Scottish style awards.

Aside from the design and creativity, Suzanne is always a pleasure to be around, her uplifting and positive attitude towards projects is infectious. She is forever the professional, meets deadlines and delivers on all counts.”

Phil Donaldson, Owner of the Macmerry Group (Jam JarBird & Bear, Draffens, Gracies, King of Islington, The Blue Room, Abandon Ship Bar and BuBu)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s