6 min read

Our Culture, Our Value & Our Studio

Close up of the MadeByShape team looking at wireframes
Updated on 01 Mar 2024

We are proud of our culture

The spaces we inhabit shape us. When you spend more than 30 hours a week in one place with the same people, it becomes a big part of your life. Beyond being productive and collaborative, it’s important that we identify with the places we spend our days. Much like a home, each person in our team has contributed to how our studio space looks and feels. We aren’t just creating a space, we’re creating our history, and each team member is a part of that. Our creative energy is reflected in the atmosphere that greets clients who visit us.

In 2010, co-founders Andy and Jason were busy planning the inception of Shape. One item on the list was a central Manchester studio. After all, most businesses would aim for a city centre studio to get in front of the eyes of the masses. But MadeByShape was intended to be a different kind of agency that required a different approach.

Of all the elements that make us successful, location is perhaps the least important. Driving up the cost of a workspace wouldn’t necessarily reward us with a better quality of life, creativity and innovation. Instead, from our studio in our Atherton home, we chose to focus our efforts on nurturing skills development and quality of life. Now, it’s clear we made the right choice. Our team has grown steadily, with care. We like to look for the potential in people and invest. It’s given us the capability to tackle large-scale and challenging projects and come out on top.

We always look for ways to fortify our approach and show our clients that, when they choose to work with us, they work with a team of highly skilled people. Our cohesive team fosters close relationships with all our clients. There is no production line here, or gatekeepers controlling access to those working on your projects. No one person is responsible for bridging the gap between you and your project. We don’t allow procedure to get in the way of success. We can be a voice of advice, creativity, logistics, innovation. We’ll always look for ways to support you and play to our strengths.

As we’ve grown, our personality and team culture has matured and taken form with increasing clarity. We’ve found new ways to tackle challenges and delve into our insights to think outside the box. Our methods have evolved over time but our ethos has stayed the same: each project is a collaboration with a portfolio-worthy piece of work at the end for both us and the client. Collaboration is the key to our distinct way of working, within our team and our client relationships. This is how we plan to keep moving forward on our journey, interweaving our distinct culture with everything that we do.

Kirsty checks social media during her lunch break

We provide value for our clients

From start-ups to global organisations, every project is as important to us as it is to the person bringing us the brief. We aim for each piece of work to be worthy of showcasing to the world.

Designer fashion labels; healthcare governing bodies; award-winning skincare and cosmetics brands; national and international broadcasting and entertainment studios. We’ve worked with our fair share of household names. From retail to property investment, to interior design there’s not likely to be a sector we haven’t dipped our toes in. We’ve met challenging briefs from some of the most high-profile brands in the UK and beyond. We love to learn about different businesses, what they offer and how we can share it with people. It helps us to expand our creative perspective.

From our humble beginnings, we’ve certainly come a long way. But we’ve always had time for start-ups and smaller independent brands. After all, every international brand started somewhere, and even if your aim isn’t to go big, if you have a dream we have a mission.

Our focus is on working with the right people. People who are passionate about their business, brand, or project like we are. You don’t need a vision to work with us, but we do want to collaborate with you, to find out how we fit into your goals and take the journey with you. When we get a brief, we don’t just disappear until deadline day.

So where do we start? If your business is still in its infancy or needs a revamp we can build a brand around it. We’ll listen to you to get under the skin of your business, understand its personality and who your target customer is. This brand identity will shape how we design your website to speak to your audience.

When we create a website for a business, it’ll be with the help of our expert in-house Craft CMS or Shopify developers. Craft CMS takes away the restrictions and puts you in control of your projects. It’s your website, you shouldn’t be faced with boundaries. You can also talk to us about hosting so you can get on with what you do best without having to worry about the technical side of things.

Our powers don’t stop at creating beautiful websites, search engine optimisation will help you to outrank your competitors and get your website in front of your customers before your competitors.

No two projects are ever the same. What remains consistent is our honest advice and industry experience. When we work with you, expect direct consultation with experts trained in the digital industry. We listen to you and offer bespoke advice and solutions to your problems. There is no ‘one size fits all’ service here. We have taken start up brands to earning millions of pounds. And we’ve worked with global brands that need a facelift. Don’t be shy about enquiring with MadeByShape.

Mike laughs during a meeting in the shape studio

Our studio is a home from home

Our brand and our culture is massively important. Our studio interior reflects us as people, as a business and how creative we are.

It’s scientifically proven that the interior design of an environment promotes creative thinking, innovation and productivity. Our office is designed by our team; when people get what they want from their office space, they want to come here every day.

We now reside 20 minutes from Manchester, in a very convenient location, near 2 train stations, a motorway, and the east lancashire road.

Our clients are all over the world, but some are in the North West of England, and further afield that needs travel organising. If we were in Manchester, these local commutes would be much harder - getting out of Manchester in traffic sometimes takes 1 hour to do just that. If a meeting was needed at short notice, we are now in a much more convenient and flexible location. We also have an onsite free car parking available.

We believe a studio or work environment should reflect the nature of the business you run, and therefore support all of your personal needs.

Not only our staff use the space, but we also have clients and potential businessmen and women visiting our office frequently, making it even more important that our space is visually appealing and inviting. It’s a great opportunity to impress, reinforce our uniqueness and individual approach. We want to show how creative we are, but how we understand brands, direction, brand image, and also the comfort and purpose to our working environment.

The inspiration that our environment gives our team members. The lifestyle benefits it produces, including a quicker commute home to see their family, or a scenic bike ride through the countryside, is all on our doorstep.

Our environment. Our staff. Our culture. Our personality. For us, these things are all built on the same foundations. They are all impossible to separate. These have all defined our story to date, and they’ll be the basis of whatever comes next.

In the present day, the majority of our staff work from home and opt to use the studio as and when they like. It works great. Productivity is through the roof. But every now and then, we like to be together, to work, and to socialise. Like this workation trip to Whalley via Airbnb.

Hello, I'm Natasia, and I'm a content writer for Shape.