WordCamp Manchester 2015. Creating Wapuu

What’s a WordCamp you say? – WordCamps are locally organised conferences that cover everything WordPress related and are attended by everyone from WordNoobs to experts, creators, & 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 and one we use in some of our projects. I was ‘proper chuffed’ when I was approached to create the Manchester mascot for WordCamp Manchester 2015!

So who is Wapuu? – Understandably he came from Japan. When Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg visited the Japanese WordPress community in 2009 and they asked could they 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 to me it was a great honour to make one!

I was asked to convey Manchester, so immediately the humble bee sprung to mind. – Not everyone knows this but the worker bee is the part of the heraldry of Manchester, appearing on the coat of arms. – You will also find bees tiled into the floor of the town hall & often appear on lamposts, 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 at that time & the hive of activity the city was during this era & continues to be to this day.  Everyone who knows me, knows I am a proud Manchester lass, so sorry if I’m buzzing on about bees a little too much.

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. With this in mind I felt it was fitting to incorporate the bee into Wapuu for WordCamp Manchester 2015. The upside down W is to signify Manchester and is also adopted by Manchester WordPress User Group (MWUG).

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!

References:

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