Posted on 10th October 2015 by Andi Wilkinson
Posted in Creative, Featured, Made By Factory, Web DevelopmentTagged , , ,
manchester wapuu

Manchester Wapuu for WordCamp Manchester 2015

I’ve been working on Manchester Wapuu for WordCamp. What’s a WordCamp you say? WordCamps are locally organised conferences. They cover everything WordPress related. Anyone can attend a WordCamp, from WordNoobs to experts. From creators to contributors. WordPress if you haven’t heard of it, is responsible for over a quarter of all new sites on the web. It’s rapidly gained popularity as a content managed development platform. In fact it’s one we use at Made By Factory we use in some of our projects. I was ‘proper chuffed’ when I was approached to create the Manchester mascot for WordCamp Manchester 2015!

Who is Manchester Wapuu? Who is Wapuu?

manchester wapuu

So who is Wapuu? Understandably he came from Japan. When Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg visited the Japanese WordPress community in 2009, They asked him if they could create a mascot. Matt agreed, but in the true spirit of WordPress it had to be under the GPL licence and Open Source. All original credit goes to illustrator Kazuko Kaneuchi. Since then, Wapuu has often been the mascot of many WordCamps. He has started to represent many countries, so it was a great honour to make one!

The Humble Worker Bee

I was asked to convey Manchester. What is more Mancunian than the humble bumble bee? Not everyone knows this but the worker bee is the part of the heraldry of Manchester. He is on appearing on the coat of arms. You will also find bees tiled into the floor of the town hall. They also appear on lamp posts, bridges & even bins.

 

Of course most people will know them from the tins of Manchester’s famous ale. Boddingtons. The bees signify the hard work & industriousness of Mancunians and the industrial North. The city has always been a hive of activity and it continues to be to this day. If you want to learn more about Manchester, take a trip to the MOSI. You can find out all about the city and how it was a cornerstone in the cotton industry. Primarily because it’s so damp here. Everyone who knows me, knows I am a proud Manchester lass. So I’m sorry if I’m buzzing on about bees a little too much.

At the time of writing, my office is in Rochdale. Interestingly for any Rochdalians reading this article, you will know that Rochdale is the home and birthplace of the Co-op. When the first store was built in 1867, it featured a beehive. This became a subsequent trend for new cooperative buildings so the links are very strong.

So what does this have to do with Manchester Wapuu?

I felt it was fitting to incorporate the bee into Wapuu for WordCamp Manchester 2015. The upside down W represents Manchester. It is also used by Manchester WordPress User Group (MWUG).

Following the original open source design, I kept the original shape. Since this post, Wapuu can be found in a variety of other poses. Some better than others.

To create Manchester Wapuu, firstly I took out all of the colour from the original version. Next, I changed the M around so it was upside down. Then I changed the colour to grey. It’s very Mancunian. I drew in the stripes and added wings. He’s like a cute little bumble hybrid tiger bee, and he has been a favourite among the WordPress community. In fact..

Wapuu is collectable

My Wapuu is now a collectable pin. You can buy him from wordpress.com Swag Store. Here’s a photo of him on my desk, along with other cool swag items.

Manchester Wapuu Pin

Another cool thing about Manchester is that Mike Little, WordPress’ other co-founder resides here. I caught up with Mike to ask what he thought of of Wapuubee & He loved it and reminded us to submit it back to the archives, so hopefully my little dude will ‘bee’ as popular as some of his friends. included below are a gallery of my personal favourites. – enjoy!

Manchester Wordcamp Now.

Update. WordCamp in Manchester has really taken off. It has been running now for four or five years and is attracting more people every year. This year it takes place around Halloween. Look out for some spooky WordCamp fun. Tickets are running out!

References:

The Unofficial Wapuu Fan Club
Wikipedia: Symbols of Manchester
Creative Tourist: Tour of Manchester – The Bees The Bees!

WordCamp WordCamp in Manchester

I am a WordPress Developer and one of the organisers for WordCamp Manchester. Although I’ve not contributed as much as some of my colleagues on this project, I love the WordPress community. I specialise in building bespoke WordPress themes for our clients at our Manchester Agency. We like to think we make each website unique, and like WordPress, we strive hard to make the web that little bit better. Oh and I love Swag. Swag is awesome.

I work at Made By Factory. A Manchester Digital Marketing agency, I co-direct with my mate Danny. You can get in touch with me at hi@andiwilkinson.co.uk

Leave a Reply