This logo by Kent-based graphic designer John Vingoe picked up a Chip in the 2019 Chip Shop Awards (the 2020 submission deadline is 12th March).

It was part of a personal project to reimagine existing brands through their logos and packaging — in this case a redesign of the classic Swan Vestas logo.

Swan Vestas matchbox packaging design
Original Swan Vestas matchbox design

Swan Vestas is a brand of matches that has been the UK’s most popular since the 1930s. They’re made by the British company Swan with a history dating back to 1883.

Swan Vestas logo redesign

“The reimagined logo mixes fire and the famous swan symbol to create a logo that represents not only the brand, but the product, too.”

A subtle change that makes the mark more memorable and relevant.

Interesting fact: Swan Vesta matches are mentioned in the Ian Fleming novel You Only Live Twice and make an appearance in the films On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), The Man With The Golden Gun (1975), Moonraker (1979), and Octopussy (1983).

Swan Vestas in James Bond

Also interesting is Ben Jones’ 2004 University of Reading dissertation titled Matchbox Cover Design: the evolution of and the influences on the graphical design of matchboxes (download the PDF).


The Ian Fleming Bond Books are cracking good reads (not to mention fantastic covers). Goldfinger had a great cover with cut out bullet holes in it. Growing up Swan matches were the only matches.

This Swan matches update is lovely and makes a lot of sense. Sawn would almost be mad not do use it!

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