Designs of the Year Nominee – Wales Nation Brand by Smörgåsbord Studio

A pretty patriotic post.

Seeing as I’m yet again heading away from home for a significant amount of time, I thought it appropriate to share this rather enlightening news about my homeland.


Wales has rebranded it’s nation in the aim to “do the country justice” and prevent it being “eclipsed” by it’s surrounding countries.

Cardiff-based (yay!) consultancy Smörgåsbord, has been commissioned by the Welsh government to help out with the graphic design of the country’s rebranding. The rebrand aims to increase tourism and interest, whilst the new logo (as seen above) will be used on Wales’ food, drink and business sectors. The new logo can also be used across public service sectors such as healthcare, education and the country’s own branding.

A more artistic, flatter version of the Welsh Dragon has been recreated by Smörgåsbord to make it more graphically recognisable for the rebrand, as well as better reflect the dragon seen on the Welsh flag.

“The Government was missing a trick, as the previous dragon had very little relevance,” says Smörgåsbord co-founder Dylan Griffith.



A new sans-serif typeface was co-created by London and LA based type foundry Colophon, which incorporates glyphs that are unique to the Welsh language.
The typeface is used at three different “levels”, says Griffith, with a “simple, neutral” form without glyphs being used for business applications, whereas versions with “more personality” incorporating the Welsh symbols are used for tourism purposes.

The new typeface compliments the new logo for the nation, making it flatter but better communicated to audiences from all over the world.


The designers used the photographs and film from the rebranding launch to create a colour palette which later had Welsh places named after each colour. The photographers took shots of rural and urban Wales showing a distinct diversity in landscape.

The launch of the rebrand was moved out slowly in the tourism sector, with the Government not spending much money on the launch itself. “The Government don’t want to be seen to be spending a lot of money on nation branding when – in some people’s eyes – it might be better spent on other avenues.”


Since the rebrand was launched, Visit Wales has seen a 30% increase in social media followers as well as 5 million new visitors to the website in 12 months. Lonely Planet has also featured North Wales in their “top locations in the world” to visit this year.

When Griffith was asked about the power of design to increase tourism, he said that it is “hugely overlooked”. “Wales is one of the UK’s best kept secrets, but it’s been eclipsed by its Celtic cousins such as Scotland and Ireland” he says. “The bar had to be raised.”

Brexit was a catalyst in the production of this rebranding. Griffith also added that “all the more reason” to “raise the flag” of Wales and invite more tourists to the country.

The branding is currently being rolled out across many sectors in Wales, especially tourism and advertising for the country. It will also be used in signage for new graphics and at public events.

Boat-1-1280x720-768x432Parks-1280x720-768x432Paint-1280x720-768x432The new typeface, co-created with Colophon includes some strong aspects of the Welsh flag. Just look at the two colours in the background of the image above – the colours separate perfectly in the middle just like the separation of the green and white in the flag. The typeface greatly compliments Welsh language’s aesthetic by using the unusual double d’s or f’s to create an intertwined character.

Yes, non-Welsh readers still probably won’t be able to understand the sounds which each letter makes, but it’s a dramatic appearance change for the better.



Diolch am ddarllen // thanks for reading


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