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Swimming Academy




Develop a brand identity with a whole lot of personality for an independent swimming school.



  • Identity system design

  • Merchandise design

  • Social content creation



Client loved the identity, and it helped keep her business afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic.



Umhlanga Swimming Academy is a privately run swimming school in Durban, South Africa. Owned and run by the larger-than-life coach, Nicole O'Driscoll, the school offers training programs for all ages and abilities, and even caters to the needs of high performance athletes seeking open water, triathlon or surf-lifesaving training.



Luck is a funny thing. Often we creatives feel cursed by the burdens of our clients' requests, moaning that we have to cater to them, rather than adopting a mindset of gratitude and realising that we get to do so. We're lucky, as long as we choose to look at things the right way.


Sometimes, though, things just click and you find yourself instantly on the same wavelength as your client. I was lucky that this was the case with Nicole from Umhlanga Swimming Academy, a private swimming school in Durban, South Africa. I was lucky that her school's name just happened to have the initials, USA, and luckier still that she was willing to embrace the obvious connection and seek out the fun side of it.



Nicole is a fun, bubbly person, and a versatile coach and athlete. We sought to capture these qualities in the branding process. Her only prerequisites were that she loves "pink, turquoise and lilac... actually, any shade of blue, like ocean colours."



From the get-go, the inspiration and direction for the look and feel was clear, and I was lucky, again, that Nicole trusted me to run with it. From some very basic sketches the idea of an extensive brand asset pack was born.

Identity system


A core crest logo was put together, with various elements that could be chopped, changed, added, subtracted, and combined in limitless ways to create a truly modular brand identity that lives and breathes its own vibrant, versatile life.



The next step was to explore different kit and merchandising opportunities to help Nicole bolster her income through the pandemic. No stone (or shell) was left unturned, as we came up with ideas for everything from T-shirts to beach towels.

Social media


Funky, bold and bright posts were the order of the day on social media, keeping Nicole's audience informed, educated and motivated.