Independent advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) announced today that partner and Global Coexecutive Creative Director John C Jay will lead a new joint venture for Wieden+Kennedy, called W+K Garage. W+K Garage will serve as a multidisciplinary creative agency for the connected age, focused on the concepting, creating and investing in innovative experiences, content and technology.
“When a man has a vision it is best to help him realize it. This is John Jay unleashed,” said Dan Wieden. “W+K Garage is for clients who seek a more personal, one on one relationship with one of the industries most celebrated creative minds. John’s connections are deep and worldwide. As is his ability to scour the globe and pull together the perfect team for the challenge at hand. I have never seen the man more energized.”
Some services offered by W+K Garage at the onset will include product concept and development, interactive experiences, cultural marketing and content focused on connectivity as well as communications design.
“Today we live in the greatest creative moment in history. Never before have creativity and innovation in culture, the arts, science and business been so impactful in our daily lives,” said Global Coexecutive Creative Director John C Jay. “For the past eight years, I have been dedicated 24/7 to leading and managing our expanding global network, and now I want to get back and focus on the one thing I most enjoy doing—making things and pushing the boundaries of creativity.”
Jay joined W+K in 1993 as creative director, working with global brands Nike, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. In 1998 he moved to Tokyo, where he lived for six years to open the W+K Tokyo office, helped globalize new Japanese brands such as Uniqlo and founded the award-winning independent music label W+K Tokyo Lab, bringing visual storytelling and international design to the city’s most innovative young musicians. In 2003 Jay joined Dan Wieden back in Portland to oversee W+K creative globally, with a focus in recent years on the agency’s expansion in Asia with Tokyo, Shanghai and Delhi offices.
In 2011 Jay was named by Fast Company magazine one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and was also inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Previously, he was also named to the Retail Advertising Council’s Hall of Fame and identified by I.D. magazine as one of the “40 Most Influential [people]” in design. The book Soul of the Game, which he designed, was named by the Copenhagen Museum in 1997 one of the “14 Most Beautiful Books in the World” and won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Leipzig Book Fair. Jay has earned a number of international creative awards for his work spanning editorial design, interiors, events, graphics, packaging, music, retail design and global brand advertising.
Beyond W+K, Jay’s creative consultancy, Studio J, in Portland’s classic Chinatown, oversees his entrepreneurial and personal creative projects. PING, a contemporary restaurant in the neighborhood designed and co-owned by Studio J, was named by GQ one of the “Top 10 New Restaurants in America” in 2009. He is also the founder of the Jay Scholarship Fund at Ohio State University’s College of the Arts.
W+K Garage will be based in Portland, Oregon, with salon event space in New York City. A temporary studio is set up within W+K’s Portland headquarters, but the shop will eventually move into its own dedicated space.