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West Midlands Growth Company Photography



The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) helps create new jobs, build and expand businesses, attract regional investment and encourage tourism. Formerly Marketing Birmingham, the company was established in April 2017.

They focus their activities on the seven regions of the West Midlands in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Black Country.

A key challenge in the West Midlands branding is visually telling the story of the region for a range of audiences. The West Midlands Growth Company commissioned The Picture Book project to develop a bank of distinctive photography, capturing the seven geographical areas and the nine strategic sectors which support the West Midlands brand pillars. 

We were looking for images rich with people that gave a sense of place and captured the glowing, diverse and indomitable spirit of the communities within the West Midlands. These images were to be used in many different areas, including new regional websites and regional marketing collateral. The brief also included the aim to fully explore the use of our brand colour palette within the photography in order that audiences would be able to recognise each image as distinctly ‘West Midlands’. So, all-in-all, not an easy brief! 

The amazing Philippa, and her equally fantastic photographer, James, from Be Smart were awarded the commission due to their sheer creative willingness to not only bring the brief to life but also to make it distinct, vibrant and unique. With a comparatively tight timescale, huge geography and often freezing cold weather, the team began to produce amazing photography. Indeed a kind of alchemy occurred where the combination of Be Smart understanding the brief, the region in which they were operating and the relationships they developed with the stakeholders they were capturing, to produce a suite of images that has met the brief in a luminous, engaging and creative way. The photography is now being used across the region by ourselves and a range of partners and we are delighted with the results.


Marketing Manager, West Midlands Growth Company




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