Caption: (L-R) JADE Brand Agency team Sara Simoés, Barrington Simon, Matthew East, Jason Dickens, Mikey Baxter and Armani Conway.

A Coventry design agency that started in a bedroom using a business grant is celebrating a milestone 21 years in 2021.

JADE Brand Agency was started by childhood friends Jason Dickens and Matthew East in 2000 using a grant from the Prince’s Trust.

Initially run from Jason’s bedroom at his parents’ house, the studio has been based at Electric Wharf for over 15 years and works with organisations across the country from Premier League football clubs to some of the biggest names in music.

JADE, which offers a range of graphic design, print and media solutions, celebrated its 21st birthday at the start of November, marking a major milestone for the business, which focuses on recruiting locally and championing all things ‘Coventry’ while simultaneously working on a national scale.

In its 21 years, the business has completed more than 24,000 projects, with Coventry City Council as its longest-standing client. JADE, which rebranded itself from The Jade Studio to JADE Brand Agency in 2020 to reflect the agency that it has become, helped produce the bid documents that brought the 2012 Olympics to Coventry, then did the same for City of Culture 2021, playing a key role in helping Coventry win the title. JADE has worked with the Trust since day one.

JADE has won multiple awards, including ‘Creative Communications and Digital Business of the Year’ at the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards in 2018, as well as winning a shared FirstPro ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ for its work on the City of Culture 2021 bid. The company also beat more than 100 other UK agencies to be named a University of Warwick framework design agency, and have created more than 5,000 pieces of artwork for the university to date.

The agency works with eight Premier League and Championship football clubs and with some of the UK’s biggest and best venues such as Warwick Castle, Bristol Zoo, M Shed and the Imperial War Museums. It has also created artwork promoting some of the biggest names in music, including Coldplay, Take That, P!nk, Oasis, Muse and Kings of Leon, as well as creating a healthy eating brand for a well-known celebrity chef.

On top of that, JADE was named Key Partner to Positive Youth Foundation, is a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Coventry and Warwickshire Champions as well as an Associate Member to Coventry BID.

Co-founder and Business Development Director Jason Dickens said: “Matt and I have been friends since childhood. We both went to ‘The Butts’ [Coventry Technical College] and back then had talked about starting a design agency one day. We started JADE with a grant from the Prince’s Trust and initially ran it from my bedroom at my mum and dad’s house.

“Maybe some people thought we wouldn’t last but here we are 21 years on having worked with some of the biggest names and projects in the country. We are incredibly proud of our portfolio of clients but we’ve never forgotten our roots. We’re proud of where we’re from which is why we try to recruit locally where we can, including from Coventry University.”

Managing Director Matthew added: “We’re not standing still – in 2020 we rebranded and have plans to spread our wings even further, moving even more into the digital arena.

“We’re looking to recruit again in the new year, and purchase a larger studio in the next couple of years to meet the needs of our growing team – in Coventry of course!”