Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Branding Identity Project branding livery tail fin airline Virgin group logo Pali Palavathanan

The challenge with this project was how far to take the brand, whether to attempt wholesale revolution or carefully evolve the brand elements that were already there. After exhaustive audit stages and a detailed process to define what the company stood for, verbally, the time had come to look at the visuals.

From even the earliest designs, we all agreed that the time had come to write the company's name in full again (ie ‘Virgin Atlantic'), and as large as we could get it down the fuselage. Following that, we decided that the red tailfin containing the script logo should be retained, and carefully redrawn to a much simpler and more elegant shape.

Once we had the core elements in place, and a livery working, we moved on to the other, and equally critical, aspects of the project. For many applications within airports and advertising, a ‘landscape' logo is of paramount importance.

But we also knew that if we could carefully craft the typography to allow a two-line (or stacked) version of the logo, this would also be very useful. In fact, the requirements of an airline identity are myriad and cover all shapes and sizes, from full colour fuselage, to screenprinted catering packs, to tiny logos on travel ‘aggregator' sites.

Within the Virgin Atlantic scheme, it was also crucial that we found elegant design solutions to identify the various flying classes on offer, and a design system to cater for their sub-brands.

Here you see the new scheme being rolled out across a variety of items, in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic's in-house design team

As on many of our other large identity schemes, establishing clear and early lines of communication with their other agencies was critical. And there were some sticky moments, but in the end the work above (all by Y&RRK London) sits perfectly with the new brand and brand positioning.

So now, when you hear a plane going overhead, look for that red fin, those red engines, and take a look at their nice new logo too. If you're interested, here's a great stop-frame video commissioned by the client that shows the first 747 in the fleet being resprayed in the new livery. Days and days of painting distilled down to about three minutes.