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Work / Graphic Design

A new national identity: Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands Wales

Wales has been given a rebrand by Smörgåsbord Studio. The new identity eschews many of the tired and nostalgic cliches about the country to provide a contemporary and multifunctional brand for the Welsh Government. A new campaign, Year of Legends featuring actor Luke Evans, is bringing the message to new audiences and shows the nation as a place to visit, trade, invest and live.

“We were charged with creating a compelling and visually consistent approach to help reveal new, engaging stories to complement the country’s rich history, beauty and culture,” says Smörgåsbord’s Dylan Griffith. “A nation brand built to be applied across all consumer facing government sectors – from tourism through to business to food & drink."

The brand incorporates a core marque, a bespoke typeface, tone of voice and photography guidelines, and advice on experiential initiatives. “It draws together disparate strands of activity, creating a ‘glue’ that unites the great people and places of Wales: digitally, physically and culturally,” says Smörgåsbord. 

“The core idea can be summarised as ‘inherently Welsh with a global outlook,” says Dylan. “A unified brand approach with the power to create a confident new way of thinking and behaving. At its heart is a contemporary rendering of the familiar Dragon icon that re-establishes the link with our national flag.”

Developed by Colophon Foundry, the bespoke typeface, Cymru Wales Sans, is inspired by Welsh Typographical heritage and incorporates digraphs that are unique to the Welsh language. Dylan explains, “Our research informed the look, feel and personality of several of the consonants (d, h, l, m, n, u) and crucially five of the eight diagraphs that are wholly unique to the Welsh language, Ch, ch, dd, Ff, ff, Ll, Th, th.”

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