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.
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.
One of their most recent concepts has been for The Outsider’s store in Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross, their second store for the brand with the first opening earlier in the year in Liverpool. While the London store is far larger, both which use an ultra-simple and honest design aesthetic, with sustainability at its heart, reflecting the ethos of the owners and many of the brands they stock. Formed of a kit of parts, reminiscent of old school Meccano, the concept uses simple construction techniques, so it can be deconstructed and reconfigured to allow for fresh new merchandising schemes. We love the flexibility of this system, which features other nice touches, including the laser-cut wooden product descriptors and the high level graphics which are hoisted into place using a pulley system with recycled climbing ropes.
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.