Alastair Swayn book by Swell Design

We talk a lot about paper as a powerful platform for communication so we couldn’t go past this bright publication, the Alastair Swayn book* by Swell Design with its bold coloured pages and strong message.

The inspiration for the eye-popping publication was two-fold; to celebrate a much loved architect and friend of Swell and to promote the Alastair Swayn Foundation. A charity that supports young Australian architects.

We spoke to Swell Design about their experience working on the project, the creative process and their new Groundswell website, a charity to raise money for brain cancer.

Can you elaborate a little more on the creative direction for the book?

Alastair Swayn was an amazing architect, friend, mentor and supporter of Swell for close to two decades. He passed away on the 4th of August 2016 after a long battle with brain cancer. As part of his final project (planning his own memorial and party), Alastair engaged Swell to create a legacy book that would help to promote the Alastair Swayn Foundation. 

Out of respect for Alastair, we undertook this 100pp challenge as a pro bono exercise and created an oversized publication with a case bound hard cover option and two different soft cover variations. Partly due to our exposure to Alastair’s illness, Swell has started a charity to raise $20,000 to help combat brain cancer — the Groundswell website will be available very soon.

Why did you choose to use Knight Smooth Digital – Indigo and what as the print result like? 

We chose Knight Smooth Digital – Indigo 140gsm because of its smooth surface and crisp white colour which help the bold layouts and Alastair’s architecture to pop. Knight Smooth and the Indigo where a great combination — the colours jump from the page (as planned).

How is the Groundswell website going?

The groundswell for Groundswell has started. We’ve now had a couple of close encounters with this terrible disease. Back in 2010, Col’s (Swell Director) son had a (fortunately benign), brain tumour removed. We then sponsored Brainstorm for a Cure, a local charity event created by Sarah Mamalai, a stage 5 brain cancer survivor (one of few). Lastly, in 2016, Swell lost a strong friend and advocate in Alastair Swayn, one of Canberra’s most successful architects.

We’ve started slowly by producing water bottles and cycling jerseys and selling these for $5 and $50 respectively (bargain). Basically, we fund the production and all proceeds so 100% goes straight into our fund managed pro bono by Grant Alleyn, Director of Allegra Wealth. Further fund raising will centre around events (cycling and running), sales of GroundSwell branded coffee and corporate donations. A website is coming, so stay tuned and let’s help beat this thing! In the mean time check out Swell’s new site.

*Thanks to Swell Design for taking their time to answer our questions and allowing us to feature their work in the ‘Snippets’ section of Spot, our very first print publication about all things design, paper, people and dogs.