Sands is chairman of brand design consultancy Elmwood, having led a management buyout of the company in 1989 at the age of 28.

Originally run from one office in Leeds, the consultancy today has offices in London, NYC, Singapore and Melbourne and Sands's work takes him all over the world.

Proud to be still headquartered in Yorkshire, Elmwood boasts clients including Walmart, Kimberly Clark, Unilever, Ann Summers, The Football Association and Cable & Wireless Communications.

As well as advising some of the world’s best-loved brands Sands also created (through Elmwood) his own brand of tea, Make Mine A Builders, which was the fastest growing FMCG brand of 2011.

Sands was awarded the OBE in 2011 in recognition of his services to the design industry.