Swanswell is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service based across the Midlands. When they explained what they did, we wanted to help, but were initially worried about their name. We weren’t convinced that the name of a small river in Coventry (the ‘Swanswell’) was really going to work for the service.

But it swiftly became clear that a name change wasn't on the cards: it was the legacy name that would bind together several different services, in different locations across a region. And when we began our design work, we started to realise that a name that ended in ‘well' could actually be useful. We tried various typographic experiments before we saw that a piece of paper, crumpled at one end butΒ smooth at the other, could act as a suitable metaphor for someone's life smoothing itself out.

In fact, when we showed the idea to the client, we actually presented it as a crumpled piece of paper in our hands, and luckily they saw immediately the potential of the idea, which was swiftly extended into a series of versions of the core mark, and the typographic variations you see above.

As well as the crumpled words and phrases that form the core of Swanswell's identity ‘toolkit', we've found that the approach can work with images to visually demonstrate how drugs and alcohol can place pressure on and destroy relationships and families. We were worried that this thought might seem too powerful until we tested it - in research sufferers found the visual effect more moving than anything else in the room.

One of Swanswell's most intriguing applications is their business cards - each employee receives a small book of one colour cards which they remove from their pad and scrunch at one end before handing them over. A physical demonstration of their logo (and service) first-hand.

Shown below isΒ a simple stop-frame animation that we have developed of the mark, which further shows how the idea can be extended into a wide range of printed and visual media.