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The Story Behind Our Fierce Swift Logo

Did you know that the swift is a migrating bird that can stay aloft for 10 months at a time surviving only on insects? We chose this resilient and scrappy bird to inspire our logo art not only to honor Swift House Inn’s name, but because the inn needed endurance and grit to survive a tough time given that Matthew and Serena purchased the inn during the pandemic in 2020. 

The previous Swift House Inn logo was designed in the 1980s, essentially a cursive S looking out of an old-fashioned window pane with a candle perched on its rear. This gold and navy blue logo was beloved by thousands of inn guests and the wider Vermont community. So Matthew and Serena had to tread carefully. Very carefully. 

Yet Matthew and Serena yearned for a more updated logo. They wanted something traditional but with clean lines and simple colors. In her past life, Serena worked in the editorial department at Apple in Cupertino, where many of her closest friends were graphic designers, a perfect connection for the task at hand. 

Serena reached out to former colleague and friend Amy Thu Le who is a graphic designer at Apple Music. Working independently as a freelancer, Le created a brand architecture for Swift House that was clean and simple. The bird illustration that she presented was of a bird aloft as it catches the wind, its expression was beatific and calm. Oh no, thought Matthew and Serena. This looks more like the dove of peace than the mighty swift. A swift bird actually has a very unusual profile, more akin to a snapping turtle than a beautiful fowl.

Isolated swift bird on a white background.

Le’s second pass at the bird demonstrated a determined set to the bird’s eyebrow. Now this was a swift! The illustration was also informed by the aesthetics of block print wallpaper found in traditional interiors. It perfectly matched the inn’s new creative direction. Le said, “Swift House Inn is centered in an idyllic setting, so illustration subjects should revolve around themes of nature, such as birds, flowers, trees, etc.” 

That sounded great to Matthew and Serena, who eagerly awaited the delivery of her complete brand toolkit, which includes the typography Mrs. Eaves. Le said, “Mrs. Eaves is clean, unfussy, and ties traditional elements together without skewing too old-fashioned.” Despite its serifs, the typography still has a modern feel. “Letters are widely tracked to give plenty of negative space that gives a contemporary look and feel,” explained Le. 

Matthew and Serena were told never to show the official logo in any other colors than the mandated selection of classic blue, sage, and green smoke in all presentations of the logo. Le permitted a little wiggle room with a palette of secondary colors, which included muted natural tones like sienna, lilac, and maple. Matthew and Serena seized on the chance to order a new suite of Swift House Inn mugs in the brand colors. 

The new mugs in the brand palette and logo. Photo by Kelvin Imalenowa

With the beautiful new swift logo, clean typography, and color scheme, Le perfectly executed Matthew and Serena’s vision of an updated look for Swift House that still retains traditional elements. As the overall rebranding of Swift House Inn unfolds, be sure to check back often. When you visit, newly branded merchandise, stationery, and amenities will be arriving frequently. The new logo is already winning fans across our social media channels, too!