27 Aug CREATIVE VISION

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Introducing David Bridges, founder of  TheLab & Wellcom’s spearhead in the U.S market.
David is a second generation graphic arts man saw opportunity for a niche business in niche market assisting Madison Avenue’s finest advertising agencies. David brought in the very best people with the very best ideas to solve agency creative briefs and make everyone else look good. Clients found the service infectious, and very soon the levels of solution solving became more complex, more challenging and more rewarding. Word spread, clients have become more numerous.

This is TheLab: a group of hardworking, personable creatives with a unified goal: make work that they’re fiercely proud of, and their clients are too.

Once it was recognised that creative solutions were to become the new strategic landscape for Wellcom Worldwide, some operations have began the serious directional changes.

Wayne Sidwell, Executive Chairman of the Wellcom Group Worldwide, had recognised the future direction of businesses such as TheLab. He had seen first-hand this new generation of creative content providers emerging and had taken steps to steer Wellcom in this direction.

Speaking with Wayne Sidwell, he explained that the future growth for Wellcom was to position the business as a creative content provider, offering agencies and direct clients, niche services. This includes video and sound as well as digital and design.

When Wayne first approached me about my business, I was drawn to the similarities in our two operations. Like Wayne, I’m a second generation graphic arts man too. Like Wayne I realised the potential in creative content and seized the opportunities that presented themselves at every turn. Being creative is fun.

In describing the business I guess we’re a collaborative of ‘inventors’ – my guys invent creative solutions (that at times) catch even me by surprise. We’re not formulaic nor are we followers – that’s our unique selling proposition, and that’s what our clients buy.

We’re also media agnostic – sure we’re big into motion and sound but we originated in print and remain true to print as part of the media mix. Ideas – truly good ideas work in any medium. And to make it happen I’m supported by developers, designers, writers, animators, artists, technologists, musicians and new media strategists. It’s about the people – and without the right people the ideas don’t flow and the work becomes ordinary. We’re fiercely proud of what we do.

I founded TheLab in 2002 as a creative retouching company. From what I have learnt of Wellcom, the two businesses have evolved considerably in the same amount of time. Over the last ten years we’ve evolved into a full service creative production agency – just shy of what agencies do and well away from planning, strategy and media. I think this is why advertising agencies remain some of our biggest clients.

I have a philosophy based on environment. It’s founded on the premise that good ideas come out of great surroundings, and great surroundings foster some degree of fun – this is TheLab. Indoor and outdoor, every space counts. My employees love it and our clients love it.

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I also believe that every great relationship starts with a single job and grows over time with consistent care and hard work. My teams are staffed according to our clients’ unique and evolving creative needs. It could call for a traditional copywriter and maybe art director partnership. But it could also find a retoucher, designer, and technologist making an app that changes the way a client does business. Or it could be taken into the realms of a sound designer, animator, developer, and strategist culminating in creating a brave new CG world for a client’s next product launch.

I mix and match teams. This means teams are constantly reinvented which keeps them fresh and inspired. We’ve tackled everything from multi-channel campaign creation, to complex site and app builds, to fashion shoots and retouching. We like a good challenge, and have the creative resources to meet a client brief head on. Our services include:

Creative

Campaign creation, rebranding, cross channel ideas and brand management.

Digital

Websites, apps, digital experiences, social content, user experience and SEO/PPC.

Print

Retouching, CGI image creation, photo shoots and layout creation and design.

Video

Web and social content, CGI animation, broadcast, video editing and production to shoot.

Sound

Original composition and sound design, voiceover, mixing, and radio production.

I’m regularly asked as a company, who we are. I kinda think we’re a small enough design agency to run a tight ship, but big enough to boast a diverse group of creative thinkers and makers.

We maintain a few rules: collaborate well with our clients, strive to improve upon our respective crafts daily, and make work that is simple, memorable, and beautiful. We’re an office where music is always playing, dogs are part of the culture, patio BBQs are the norm, and excessive imagination is a must. And we’re proud to be Wellcom USA.”

View The Lab’s creations here.