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#1 chad

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 05:51 AM




i am in love with the swiss planes. the swiss re-branding has been the greatest in airlines since SAS a few years ago. even the font is a nice touch consistent with everything being swiss and fabulous.... a 46 year old swiss font, but the name escapes me now.

try a google search to see how ugly the old planes were.

has anyone flown swiss recently? how is the service?

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Edited by chad on Apr 6, 2004 at 03:38 PM
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#2 Jean Snow

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:15 PM



I'm also absolutely in love with Swiss airlines. The Swissotel chain also likes nice (from what I can see in the ads). I think the new design was done by a guy from the WALLPAPER crew, if I remember correctly. I really want that pair of Swiss Converse sneakers too...
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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:57 PM



it was done by Tyler Brûlé's Wink Media/Winkreative http://www.winkmedia.com/

if you go to their site, click branding, then swiss airlines, you can see some more pics of the ticket offices, airline uniforms, typography, plane branding, and cabin interiors.

also, for total swiss geeks there is a screensaver with some of the above images here >> http://www.swiss.com...screensaver.htm
It is PC only.... and i wanted the images so bad for my mac i used a flash decompiler, ripped the images and made my own screensaver that is so much better.

and i just sent an ecard to everyone at work... they are here >> http://www.swiss.com...S4/ei-ei-ecards

i would still love to hear from someone who is a swiss travel club member and regularly flies.

doki doki doki doki
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#4 chad

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:58 PM



it was done by Tyler Brûlé's Wink Media/Winkreative http://www.winkmedia.com/

if you go to their site, click branding, then swiss airlines, you can see some more pics of the ticket offices, airline uniforms, typography, plane branding, and cabin interiors.

also, for total swiss geeks there is a screensaver with some of the above images here >> http://www.swiss.com...screensaver.htm
It is PC only.... and i wanted the images so bad for my mac i used a flash decompiler, ripped the images and made my own screensaver that is so much better.

and i just sent an ecard to everyone at work... they are here >> http://www.swiss.com...S4/ei-ei-ecards

i would still love to hear from someone who is a swiss travel club member and regularly flies.

doki doki doki doki
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#5 kiteless

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 04:51 PM



It may be a NIH (not-invented-here) envy so common between colleagues in the corporate identity field but I must admit I am so-so about the SWISS re-positioning following the collapse of Swissair.

You mentioned the now Scandinavian (SAS) re-branding done by SthlmLab which was a trailblazer in the airline industry in terms of incorporating brand values and emotions rather than price, regional characteristics/chauvinisms and other functional aspects. Some may even say Pentagram's work on BA (with the union jack on the tailwings replaced were years ahead of them two.

The problem is that neither of the design systems provide the flexibility needed to maintain and operate an airliner today on a fiercely competitive market: in SAS case, it resulted in a new subsidiary, SNOWFLAKE, as the SAS motherbrand could not accomodate a no-frill offer. In case of SWISS, the identity did not adapt very well to economic reality of an airline which cannot even afford a membership card in plastic. The red square as logo and design element simply doesn't provide enough solutions and potential for a complex business with many different kinds of "surfaces", environments and interactions as an airliner.

Both design systems were also infeasted with low recognition, which on top it, went out of date very very quickly. Par example, in the case of SAS, the brand manual is full of components where every element seems to be a logotype of its own - in the classic inverted SAS figuremark, the flags of each country pixelated, the company name in Rotis Sans, use of photography etc. Some would argue that the planes are a flying mausoleums of 1990's. This goes for SWISS as well. Their flagship lounges (which they lacked the financial means to provide in more than one-two locations) are practically interchangeable to a Wallpaper* editorial from 1999, and have less things in common with the SWISS brand than it have in common with the creative director of Winkreative....

I am a frequent flyer of both airlines and did the advertising of one of them in the past. I can't really say neither of them aged very well.
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#6 Gabriel

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 05:02 PM



Swiss is so much nicer than other airlines. I love the little concordinos (? embraer something) that go from Paris to Geneva, the giant chocolate coins, the uniforms, the tidiness, the waiting rooms, the pilots' accents, etc. I have a Swiss mousepad under my mouse right now (white on red).
I don't like the waiting music, that's the Wallpaper* over-the-top touch.
And their site is weird. Well I haven't booked on it for months so maybe it's fixed now, but it used to be terrible. Also their online frequent flyer system never worked, but it doesn't make sense to use automatic tools when they have helpful humans at hand.
The typography is probably Univers or Helvetica, which is very Swiss, whereas when it was Swissair it was some kind of Futura (earlier German typeface).

Quote: The red square as logo and design element simply doesn't provide enough solutions and potential for a complex business with many different kinds of "surfaces", environments and interactions as an airliner.

you don't get the irony of Mr Brûlé - it's all about killing the usual logo 20th century logo sets and use something with minimum characteristics and maximum recognition potential. Of course this goes against all design rules, but I think it works, and even if it doesn't, it certainly works with this brand.
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#7 kiteless

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 06:25 PM



i am not a typographer at all but i believe the type used in SWISS is neither helvetica or univers but purpose-drawn, for whatever the purpose may be...

Quote: you don't get the irony of Mr Brûlé - it's all about killing the usual logo 20th century logo sets and use something with minimum characteristics and maximum recognition potential. Of course this goes against all design rules, but I think it works, and even if it doesn't, it certainly works with this brand.


The proportional cross is one of the oldest logotypes with too many cultural connotations (SWISS are still not allowed to fly certain arab destination for that reason) ... which is not the same as there's a high recognition potential in this particular execution. using only one generic colour, a geometrical figure but no sensible design system + drawing a new no-brainer typeface doesn't really make it great design, not even a logotype -- merely an attempt to create something iconic out of enthusiasm yet lacking knowledge of corporate identity... there isn't much identity to recognize, really. It isn't about irony but doing your job properly. I can't imagine how it must be for the agency to chunk out TV, print, interactive media, sales materials and DM without anything to work with which results in disparate executions. you won't believe the tv-spots, prints and the card is from the same agency, even less that they were made for the same brand.

I don't think i get Tyler B at all in fact. We were staying at the same hotel 5 years ago, the guy didn't do his own shopping but had a horde of PAs that ran around town picking up things he may find interesting. Some poor girl showed him a vase he dismissed as "awful, so 1997" (this was 1999) and told her then to take it away as it made him sick. and the girl were fired then on the spot. A true genius -- for those who haven't discovered his column in FT, I sincerely recommend it for us who take shopping sprees in Stockholm and the quality of the leather seats of the new Falcon Learjet very seriously. I do.
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#8 saturday

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 02:54 PM



The typface is called CH Sans and was custom made with Art Direction from Wink toghter with Freda Sack of The Foundry. It's a inspired by Univers but made a bit more human. To creat a high quallity san-serif font is by no means a no brainer (why do you think heletica, univers and akzidens grotesk still are kings of san-serif typography even though the were drawn more than 40 years ago), anyone that knows his typography and design would know that. The purspose if haveing a custom made typface is usally 2, 1. It's chepar for a big organisation to own it's own font that to by hugh amount of licences. 2. To strenghten the overal look and feel for the brand by making sure you work with exclusive tools.

P.S
The girl didn't get fired her name is Gaby and she still works with Tyler as his only PA.
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#9 Gabriel

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 06:57 PM



kiteless - you're absolutely right about brand recognition and everything else; however to me, SWISS is an exception because it shouldn't work, yet somehow does. I can only admire people who love timeless Swissness so much that they took out everything that wasn't Swiss enough for their taste. Minimalizing to the extreme until there is no brand left. Yet there is, because you can't not notice a Boeing and what's painted on it. I agree they didn't do their job properly, it's inconsistent and smells like Wallpaper*. Reminds me of AOL buying Time Warner. Anyway I like the fact that they actually did convince Swissair to do it. It's the kind of tongue-in-cheek idea that logically should have stayed on paper. I predict that if the airline has more financial trouble they'll rebrand it again in a few years with the opposite approach, but the Winkmedia work will remain as one of those weird, one of a kind campaigns.

saturday - thanks for the type info... I wonder if CH Sans will be released? Not that I noticed any difference with Univers but maybe there are subtle improvements...
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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:13 AM



klicken on sie remoten controllen
http://www.lufthansa...e/de/flash.html

ive always preferred old school lufthansa id to swiss...though braniff used to be cooler and more bond-esque.
the cadmium yellow midnight blue and grey is classic. pan am still the best ever brandmark..
the crane bird brand mark was designed in 1918.
the revised lufthansa logotype in 1969 by otl aicher who also designed all the pictograms for munich olympics and logos for braun, ZDF tv station, ERCO lighting, and bulthaup kitchens.. among others.

anyone know exactly whether is it pure or modified font? alwaysd thought it was somewhere between helvetica neue 75 and 85...
noticed the kerning changed between 1975 an 1977, and the font got thicker around 2000!

trying to think of other airlines that used similar...
aeromexico
aer lingus
avianca
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#11 Guest__*

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:14 AM



klicken on sie remoten controllen
http://www.lufthansa...e/de/flash.html

ive always preferred old school lufthansa id to swiss...though braniff used to be cooler and more bond-esque.
the cadmium yellow midnight blue and grey is classic. pan am still the best ever brandmark..
the crane bird brand mark was designed in 1918.
the revised lufthansa logotype in 1969 by otl aicher who also designed all the pictograms for munich olympics and logos for braun, ZDF tv station, ERCO lighting, and bulthaup kitchens.. among others.

anyone know exactly whether is it pure or modified font? alwaysd thought it was somewhere between helvetica neue 75 and 85...
noticed the kerning changed between 1975 an 1977, and the font got thicker around 2000!

trying to think of other airlines that used similar...
aeromexico
aer lingus
avianca
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#12 sufu1

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:14 AM



klicken on sie remoten controllen
http://www.lufthansa...e/de/flash.html

ive always preferred old school lufthansa id to swiss...though braniff used to be cooler and more bond-esque.
the cadmium yellow midnight blue and grey is classic. pan am still the best ever brandmark..
the crane bird brand mark was designed in 1918.
the revised lufthansa logotype in 1969 by otl aicher who also designed all the pictograms for munich olympics and logos for braun, ZDF tv station, ERCO lighting, and bulthaup kitchens.. among others.

anyone know exactly whether is it pure or modified font? alwaysd thought it was somewhere between helvetica neue 75 and 85...
noticed the kerning changed between 1975 an 1977, and the font got thicker around 2000!

trying to think of other airlines that used similar...
aeromexico
aer lingus
avianca
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#13 kiteless

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 05:56 PM



Tyler, oh I mean "Saturday" ... I wouldn't be too upset if I were you. Neither you or Bjorn K were blessed with structured, financially viable clients and airline cases are usually more about how far you can persuade the client to go rather than innovation and ideas, I've learned. Btw -- have you found yourself a pair of swim shorts yet?
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#14 kiteless

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 05:15 PM



I probably should let this thread fade into oblivion as it has alienated a lot of colleagues and peers but i'll post this against my better knowledge.

In Tyler's (I feel we're on first name basis now) column in this weekend Financial Times, which I read religiously for the post modern litany it is, he announces that the Circle Lounge at the Zurich Airport is shutting down.

"With its unmarked chocolate brown steel door, walnut panelling, comfy leather sofas, super efficient staff and pink champagne, the Swiss Circle belonged to an age when Swissair was the singulary luxury brand (...)"

Although I mocked it the one (1) time I went in, I'm glad I've witnessed it. Like you felt completely ridiculous that time you went up the WTC or on the Concorde, but now they're not there anymore so you don't regret it. But on a much smaller scale, of course.

I think we can wrap this subject up by saying in these times of recession, Swiss will not live up to it's brand promise, like, ever.
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#15 chad

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 05:38 AM



Speaking of airline logotypes, here is an excellent archive of every airline... even old versions.

http://www.aerosite.net/logos.htm

kiteless... you felt ridiculous on the Concorde? and you really flew on it?

And can any company live up to its brand promise? Is there any connection between an abstract concept designed to sell and a product or service? where the only connection is some fat german in an expensive suit at an advertising agency selling trying to get rich(er) by selling dreams to soulless people? how can it be that a product does not fulfil people, but the promise of what it can make them?
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#16 kiteless

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 08:53 PM



I may feel that my previous post was indeliberately misunderstood. For whatever purpose there may be.

1) In regards to the Circle Lounge closing down, I (as well as the FT article) was only referring to it as a sign of the recession. A closure perhaps, and another evidence, for an era in aviation coming to an end. In these times, there's simply no room for a luxury brand like Swissair (for whom the lounge was originally built). Its original ambitions will never fly again. Quite sad, actually; there was a time when civil aviation had more to offer than online sales and 3 hour rides to the airport. Which is the conclusion of Tyler Bruhle's column.

2) Some brand statements ("promises") are made to never to be lived up to. Even kids must know this. Unless they slept through class during the chapter on positioning statements and cognitive dissonance.

3) On the subject of Concorde, in the end it comes down to most people's opinion that there's something kitsch about luxury. It's healthy to be able to laugh at it. And if one enjoy superficialities just too much, one may turn into a very unpleasant person.

4) Despite having said this, few people regret going on Concorde, up on WTC, Blackpool pier, seeing original-Kraftwerk live (etc) -- how ridiculous it may have felt at the time. Simply because you will never be able to experience these things again.

5) I am not fat 6) I am not german 7) I no longer work in advertising -- yet none of the former are in itself necessarily evil, nor virtues. By the way, it's not the agency who profits if it's doing a good job for the client


Tylenol, anyone?
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