The Swoons

Branding & Creative Direction

Background

I have to admit: music was my first love even before my passion for design took over my life. There was never a day in my childhood where music was not playing throughout my home. From Michael Jackson to Lee Ann Womack, we listened to any and, I mean, everything. So understandably, when I was approached by international indie-alternative pop band The Swoons for a rebrand, I couldn’t have been happier.

The Swoons were reestablishing their sound and needed to do the same with their look and feel, all without alienating their established fanbase. Because of this, it was important to keep the same dark, emotional tone, but also introduce this brightness, "a glimmer of hope" present throughout the new music.

The first thing I had to create was the band logo / word mark. The band wanted something iconic and recognizable, “like The Beatles’ logo”, but done in a fresher, more youthful way. They also wanted a logo that represented their sound, “a modern take on the classic”, so something that was high brow but also playful and refreshing. After many drafts and iterations, we landed on what I like to call “The Swooning O” logo. It features a dropped ‘o’ to touch on the band’s playfulness, youthfulness, creativity, and serves as a direct callout to the definition of the group’s name.

The Swoons' songwriting is very personal & serves as a means of journaling for each band member. This is how I came up with the glitchy-scrapbook art direction. I remember when I used to scrapbook, the things I would glue together would be very personal to me, and only me. I also remember how all of my photos would always show heavy film grain. Back then, it was something I didn’t like to see. Now I often find myself trying to digitally replicate it in my work.

The Swoons - Conspiracy of Silence (Official Music Video)
Director/Animator: Tim Fox — Live Action Footage: Teo Karakolev — Creative Director: Clarence Johnson

Working with The Swoons on their branding was a fulfilling experience. From conception to materialization, The Swoons welcomed all artistic exploration which inevitably allowed us to land on this branding for the band.