Go Behind the Experience to see how Tecovas brings the West to life with Sanity 🤠 July 18th

The Swaddle

By Nightjar

A new brand identity to represent a more mature company, to signify The Swaddle’s evolution from publisher to production house, combined with an easier to navigate platform that can surface multiple content types - drawing readers through The Swaddle’s content offering.

It all started with a rebrand, a savvy shortform THE SWDL wordmark, used across digital and print applications.
Early in the rebrand journey, the digital platforms heirarchy was considered.
The Swaddle is a youthful, contemporary, editorial platform, and the article design needed to reflect that
The Swaddle has beautiful feature articles, that needed bold, attention grabbing design to stand out to all users.
The Swaddle's mobile design system was robust, and was designed mobile first to accommodate for it's young tech-savvy audience
Moments of fun were throughout the site, such as in the menu with dynamic images of latest articles pulling through.
Bold attention grabbing design made a statement.
Being a large scale Editorial publisher, scheduling content within Sanity was a must
Inside of Sanity, a Google Document reference to a Help Guide was embedded - ensuring reference to a single source of truth
A clean hierarchy broken down by category, with fine tune control down to the image tint
Integration with Yoast SEO allows The Swaddle's content team to ensure SEO is top calibre for every publication
Live preview within Sanity allows for rapid content edits and reviews
Feature articles allowed a huge level of control for The Swaddle's content team to really push feature articles to the next level

About the project

The Swaddle is an independent media publication for young Indians, providing a nuanced, balanced perspectives on news, culture and current events, helping their readers form an educated opinion. Their unique approach to content creation has seen them grow over the years as demand from curious and voracious young Indians also grew, to now offer a production arm for brands.

Challenge

“We are so much bigger that our site feels.” This was the problem projected to us by The Swaddle’s founder in our first workshop. The challenge was twofold - they had both outgrown their previous brand identity, and their website no longer served the needs of the evolving business.

Expanding from a focus on solely written editorial content to a content production studio making podcasts and films, we needed to devise a brand which could live comfortably across all pillars. And although the site was filled with dynamic and interesting content, the structure and design of the previous site did not enable easy surfacing of multiple content types.

The challenge for the publishing platform was to make it feel like more than just a magazine - we wanted to envelope readers in podcasts, videos and editorial pieces - creating a journey through social issues, providing them with context and continuity at every point, encouraging them to delve deeper.

A truly independent voice

In a media landscape of corporate and state sponsored interests, The Swaddle fosters a space for intellectual engagement which is truly independent. We wanted to elevate The Swaddle brand to be the most sought-after, trusted, and referenced independent media publication amongst Indian youth, 18-35.

These are young, progressive, intelligent people who are looking for an opinion, and for guidance navigating today’s current events, social justice issues, and shifting cultural norms and traditions. They’re looking for transparency - they see through the fake news and gravitate towards outlets that tell it like it is.

We needed to strike a balance between the revolutionary spirit of a younger audience, and the maturity and sophistication to appeal to their secondary audience of academics, journalists, and film producers, with whom The Swaddle is seen as a highly credible source of information.

Collaborating closely with Frost Type, we embarked on a journey to reinvent The Swaddle's visual identity, aiming for a wordmark that captures the essence of our mission: to foster intellectual engagement in an independent space.

Drawing inspiration from iconic editorial mastheads, we crafted a bold and contemporary wordmark that resonates with our young, progressive audience while also exuding maturity and sophistication for our secondary audience of academics, journalists, and film producers. The new wordmark encapsulates our commitment to transparency, authenticity, and cutting-edge journalism, symbolising The Swaddle as the go-to source for trusted, insightful, and forward-thinking content in India's media landscape.

From a creative platform of “Fearless expression”, we explored this notion through an visual identity that is as bold, authentic, and thought-provoking as our content. We explored The Swaddle’s role in providing deeper context to our world, adding visual “layers” of understanding and information when it matters most.

The typography is unapologetic yet versatile, and given the integral role it plays in an editiorial platform, striking a balance between boldness and legibility was paramount.

Intentionally digital first, our colour palette balances neutral foundation with energy and vibrancy with a secondary category palette.

Through a range of graphic techniques, including deconstructed type, colour, layout and pattern, our identity shows that The Swaddle is a publication that is not afraid to take risks and push boundaries, in order to give a voice to the underrepresented and the taboo.

A layered UX approach

Our UX idea for the new publishing platform mirrored our creative approach of ‘layers’. In order to engage and draw readers through different threads of content, we devised inter-connected modules that layered related content pieces on top of one other. This allows people to pursue a line of enquiry through a topic that interests them, further arming themselves with socio-cultural knowledge.

To realise this on the front end, in the back end we created a homepage schema that empowered The Swaddle’s content editors to keep surfacing different, but related content types and topics, from the vast library of content they have. As most of the content deals with ongoing issues and themes, It enables them to keep the platform fresh, without having to produce dozens of pieces a day, like more traditional publishers.

We performed a significant content migration of all posts, videos and podcasts from 2018 onwards, moving them from WordPress over to Sanity, our headless CMS solution. There was zero loss of content, and zero downtime on the platform.


Contributor

Nightjar

Nightjar is a digital product company. We deliver transformative results for ambitious brands - at velocity.

Nightjar is located at Sydney Australia
Visit Nightjar's profile

Other projects by author

ZETR

Creation of a scalable platform to support business growth, increase ZETR’s internal team’s efficiency by automating key functionality, drive leads through improved UX, and deliver a modern brand experience aligned with the product experience.

Nightjar
Go to ZETR