While Swell has some natural advantages over competitors – including being close to the beach, local surf breaks, and the Surf Coast Walk coastal track – it was clear that the experience of visiting the café was dated. Swell’s owners had decided on moving to a new premises, and saw an opportunity to modernise and create a new brand and visual identity, which better matched the new location’s contemporary aesthetic. With large areas of glass, blackbutt timber cladding, and polished concrete floors, the modern interior was suited to a contemporary interpretation of the original 90’s logo and visual identity.
A hand-painted cursive word-mark inspired by the shape and movement of the southern ocean. Combining hand-painted lettering and modern supporting typography we achieved a balanced aesthetic that revolutionised the primary brand-mark with a cliché-free nod to the old logo. Secondary visual language includes an establishment mark ‘since 1999’, a supporting moody ocean photographic style, laser-etched timber menu boards, postcards, website splash page, and primary and secondary signage for the building exterior and interior. To support the new brand, Fluid created a secondary visual language including an establishment mark, ‘since 1999’, a supporting oceanic photography style, laser-etched timber menu boards, and primary and secondary signage for the cafe.
The refreshed brand heralded a new era for local icon Swell, creating a visual platform for owner Scott Pond to realise new opportunities for the business including plans for a range of Swell branded products and merchandise. A wide range of collateral was created which features the stylised hand-lettered Swell logotype as well as a range of supporting ocean still life photos and secondary visual language.
My initial thoughts on change were modest to say the least. I had trepidation about moving too far visually, from the Swell logo created in 1999. Consultation and reflective dialogue put my mind at ease and Fluid presented a range of creative options that were fantastic to say the least. Working with the team was pleasurable but most importantly engaging. I could not imagine Swell as it is today without the new brand that Fluid have created and helped implement.