Whimsical poster series uses 1930s style design to change perceptions of Swindon

Ah, Swindon. Not the sort of place you’d usually hear prefixed with “beautiful” or suffixed with “lovely this time of year”, but its appeal may be changing thanks to one creative studio based in the South-West England town.

Jazzbones Creative recently unveiled a new series of posters as part of the wider Switch on to Swindon campaign, which paint an idyllic portrait of a place whose most famous exports to date are XTC (not that there’s anything wrong with XTC).

Renault Building, Switch on to Swindon campaign
© Jazzbones

The whimsical images have a distinctly retro vibe, and were “designed to evoke the Golden Age” of the 1920s and 30s, according to Jazzbones. Each poster shows a Swindon landmark likely to be unrecognisable to all but local residents, but each rather interesting wherever you hail from. One bears a “space-age yellow warehouse” Renault Building designed by Sir Norman Foster, another the Center Parcs-esque dome of the leisure centre that apparently inspired the Wonderwall hitmakers to name their band Oasis, and an Art Deco swimming platform.

“The concept behind the self-initiated project is to shine a light on Swindon’s ‘hidden gems’ as part of a wider campaign to highlight the town on the national scale,” says Jazzbones.

Oasis, Switch on to Swindon campaign
© Jazzbones

Senior designer Mitchell Nelson created the images, based on stories and details from the agency’s founder Nathan Sandhu about the town, where he’s lived his whole life.

The retro stylings of the posters are a reference to Swindon’s place as part of the Great Western Railway network, he adds, and aim to recall “the bygone era of travel prints”.


“I’ve always been inspired by illustrations from that era,” he says. “Those designers and illustrators were very forward-thinking for their time.”

He adds, “People might have a perception of Swindon as a Milton Keynes sort of place, or think of it as very industrial. The main objective is to change the impression of Swindon, and showcase that on a global and national stage as a great place to live and do business.” 

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