Swindon, notorious for its 'crap town' status, finds its inner beauty in retro poster campaign

Visit Swindon posters by Jazzbones

Swindon, the much-lambasted Wiltshire town once home to Billie Piper and Melinda Messenger, has found itself on the receiving end of some creative love thanks to a new campaign from agency Jazzbones.

The creative shop has previously worked on campaigns for the likes of Honda, Virgin Media and Miele, but for its latest project it took inspiration from outside its front door in Swindon’s Old Town. Led by designer and illustrator Mitchell Nelson, Jazzbones’ design team were inspired to design a range of vintage inspired travel posters and postcards to promote Swindon’s 'hidden gems'.

These include the Meccano-style former Renault distribution centre (designed by Sir Norman Foster, no less), the landscape-dominating David Murray John tower, Coate Water Country Park and its art deco diving board and the Oasis Leisure centre, which – rumour has it – is the namesake of the Britpop band.

The posters shed some creative light on a place often lumped with Luton, Hull and Slough as a ‘crap town’ of the UK, and labelled as a 'national laughing stock' by the Guardian. However they also tie in with the life story of Jazzbones’ founder and creative director, Nathan Sandhu.

“When people talk about Swindon being a town of great opportunities, personal experience tells me that’s a fact and not just another marketing slogan,” he wrote in a blog post. “I was born and raised in Swindon and it has moulded me as a person, a professional, and over the last decade as a business owner.

“Every member of our design team is Swindon born and bred, but that doesn’t stop us pitching for work in competition with big city design and branding agencies – and often winning. Several of my team have done their time in London, Bristol and even Spain, but at the end of the day they’ve decided the grass is not always greener and have returned to Swindon because it’s such a great place to live and fulfil their ambitions.”

Perhaps Swindon will head down the same route as Hull, which found itself to be entirely rebranded in celebration of its status as UK City of Culture 2017.

Overall Rating
4/5 Vote

Katie Deighton

Katie Deighton is The Drum’s senior reporter - creative and video based in London. She produces, films, presents and edits the title’s editorial video output, including series such as On The Scene, Ad Breakers and Why I Left Advertising, and manages its coverage of the creative sector. She also reports on the intersection between politics and marketing, as well as the third sector and fashion.

All by Katie