Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays

Smörgåsbord’s Dylan Griffith on rebranding Wales, and the “definitive dragon”

“Call me biased, but I think Wales is pretty epic,” says Dylan Griffith, whose design studio Smörgåsbord was behind the recent rebrand of the country. Commissioned by the Welsh government, the visual identity is all encompassing, with a bespoke Cymru Sans typeface, a logo, and treatment for all types of communication that subtly but unmistakably references Welsh heritage.

“We thought Wales was missing a trick with its logo,” Dylan said in his talk at Nicer Tuesdays, showing how the iconic dragon had become somewhat diluted over the years. “Dragons haven’t been respected in the past and people told us not to go there, so we wanted to do it properly. We set about drawing the definitive dragon.”

He explains in intricate detail the ideas and process behind this unusual project, for example how photography and graphics draw from the horizon line of the flag, and how the idiosyncratic typeface allows for designers to “dial up” the Welsh personality as they see fit. “We felt the Welsh language is so rich, a bespoke typeface would give us a sense of place.”