When you walk through the warm and inviting streets of Manchester, admiring the red brick architecture and the splendour of the city's industrial heritage, you might often catch a glimpse of a busy creative studio, working away in one of its many former mills and warehouses.
Stand on Stevenson Square in the heart of Manchester's hip Northern Quarter, and you might spot out of the corner of your eye a red neon sign of the letter 'W'. This is the home of WDC Creative – formerly known as Wests, an established agency that specialises in interior design and graphic design.
A former neighbour to Creative Boom (and very friendly, I might add), it was about time we spoke to founder Jason West (ah, you see where the name comes from) about the company's workspace and local creative scene.
Tell us more about you
We’re an independent creative agency who specialise in interior design and graphic design, with a focus on commercial/retail interiors and branding. We were previously known as Wests Design Consultants but rebranded ourselves for our 15th anniversary to focus on just our initials.
Our team is a mix of talented interior, architectural and graphic designers, and our most recent addition is a digital marketing apprentice. We pride ourselves on having an open outlook merging creativity with experience and always strive for the highest standards of service. Our clients range from new start-ups to large global brands and include ASICS, Triumph Lingerie, Under Amour, P&O Ferries, Ellis Brigham, Intapp, OEE Consulting and Cleveland Bridge.
Can you describe your workspace?
Our studio is based on the third floor of a brick-built warehouse in Manchester’s Northern Quarter district. It's light and airy, with cast iron columns framing the layout of our open-plan office. It’s brimming with samples, mock-ups and prototypes and is a real working environment. We have great views over central Manchester and our neon W, D & C signage can be seen from quite a distance.
What do you love about your workspace the most?
It's a relaxed space that we feel helps stimulate creativity. The multi-skilled team (young and old, boys and girls, 2D and 3D, technical and creative, digital and hand-drawn, experienced and recently graduated, CGI designers and handcrafted model makers) means that we can fully understand and explore our clients' needs and articulate their individual brand DNA through a range of media.
Any favourite pieces of furniture, accessories or decorations? Can you tell us a story behind them?
We keep lots of souvenirs and trinkets on display from our visits to various places around the world where our clients are based – from Europe, the US, China and Japan. We have artefacts from architectural LEGO to personalised Coca-Cola bottles, remote control cars and an array of decorative super-sized letters.
Our shelves are full with an ever-increasing selection of books to stimulate our benchmarking research and investigation, and while the Internet has obviously changed the way we approach initial exploration work, nothing beats a quiet sit down with design books, sticky notes and a great cup of coffee.
Various artworks adorn our walls, ranging from large wooden block-printing letters to blueprints of the Short Empire flying boat, to some great graphic prints by local legend Stanley Chow.
Describe the local creative scene.
We’re located in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Gardens. Our area is vibrant, quirky and arty – full of independent cafés and restaurants, vintage shops and creative businesses like ourselves: photographers, copywriters, printers, etc., and an independent Makers Market which visits us monthly.
Urban street art coats the walls, some of which appeared during the recent Cities of Hope street art festival, when internationally renowned artists created giant murals on local walls, leaving the Northern Quarter even more colourful and vibrant than it was before.
It’s a really inspiring and dynamic place to live and work. And change happens at a jaw-dropping pace, with re-shaping and reinvention part of the day-to-day experience.
Have you got an inspiring workspace?
Our popular Studio Tours give our audience a sneak peek inside creative workspaces across the globe. From tiny home studios and co-working spaces to some of the world's leading agencies and creative brands – we love to find out what your office looks like.
Think you've got something great to show us? Email the details and a few sample photographs of your workspace to [email protected].