WDC Creative, 3rd Floor, Rutland House, 18 Hilton St, Manchester, UK. M1 1FR
Having studied interior design at Nottingham Trent, Jason West first worked for Peter Leonard, then moving on to Checkland Kindleysides where he became a design director, before setting up WDC Creative in 2001.
With a range of high profile clients from ASICS, Onitsuka Tiger, Triumph and Under Armour, the consultancy has a strong heritage in creating retail concepts for sports and sports fashion brands, though more recently they have also undertaken a number of projects in the hospitality sector with their concepts for P&O Ferries and restauranteur Bourgee.
Working with ASICS over a number of years, they were commissioned to design the brand’s store concept for Europe, which was subsequently rolled out worldwide. Incorporating ASICS’s running lab, the concept saw the early adoption of running machines for gait analysis in-store. Their design also created a sense of community, by the simple inclusion of a local map behind the cash desk (as the stores also became home to ASICS’s running club in each of the cities where they opened a store). The concept was instrumental in raising the profile of the brand, positioning ASICS as an expert in running footwear and clothing.
For ASICS brand, Onitsuka Tiger, they designed both a high street store and a factory outlet, both of which are filled with design, material and graphic references the brand’s heritage and contemporary Japanese culture.
With a number of city and out of town stores dotted around the UK, their concept for mountain sports clothing and equipment brand Ellis Brigham provides flexible display spaces to allow the merchandising team to reflect the seasonality of the ranges for different mountain sports. The materials are honest and robust, and reflect the environmentally responsible values of their customers. We like the fitting rooms, which provide a nod to shipping containers used on Arctic explorations, and the little stone ‘bridge’, where customers can test out the grip of boots.
One of their most recent concepts has been for The Outsider’s store in Liverpool, which uses an ultra-simple and honest design aesthetic, with sustainability at its heart, which reflects the ethos of many of the brands on sale in the store. Formed of a kit of parts, using simple construction techniques, the concept can also be deconstructed and reconfigured to allow for fresh new merchandising schemes. Other nice touches include screen printed wall art and stool upholstery made of old climbing ropes.
Commissioned to create a brand identity and interior concept for new hospitality brand Bourgee, WDC designed a concept which makes full use of the two-storey façade; seamlessly incorporating design cues from the linear brand identity, through the execution of the signage, the subtle colour banding and the linear lighting features in the windows. The interior has an upmarket feel, which has been translated into a Grade I listed town house in Bury St Edmunds, and for a Bourgee restaurant in Stansted Airport, with its open plan location, there is surprisingly little compromise to the customer’s dining experience.
WDC Creative are also graphic designers. As well as creating identities and pure graphic design, they are deft in their application of graphics in their store concepts, using a range of printing methods and materials, from simple colour printing on wood, as seen in their store for Onitsuka Tiger, to window displays featuring LED ribbon technology, (ASICS Shanghai); considered executions which add both texture and context to their store concepts.
If you’d like to know more about WDC Creative, give Jason a call.