Executive Creative Director at DB Amsterdam, Claire, is on the online corporate design panel of Marketing Tribune magazine. Each month she judges a corporate design alongside Stefan Pangratz from VBAT and Arthur Brandenburg van den Gronden from Anthem. Last month, the panel were asked to judge the new visual identity of Transavia. Here’s the link to the online article and we’ve translated it for you here:
Dutch airline Transavia recently presented its brand new strategy and visual identity, created by Studio Dumbar and digital marketing agency Mirabeau. Part of the rebranding is a new logo for Transavia and the green central colour has been refreshed. The rebrand comes as Transavia aims to grow in size and “become Europe’s leading airline in hospitality and service” for leisure travellers and business passengers.
Claire Parker, Executive Creative Director at Design Bridge: With its distinctive combinations of colour, Transavia was quite un-ironically kitsch. However, the loss of these distinctive colours feels remiss in this rebrand. The new typeface and symbol are considered, going some way to address their need to attract more business travellers. There’s more personality in the ‘t’, from arrows to a smile, however it’s a shame that the rest of the icons weren’t given as much attention. They feel less considered and unique, failing to create a cohesive story. If the aim of the rebrand is “to become Europe’s leading airline in hospitality and service” I’d have to say they look more ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ than a leader. Score: 6
Arthur Brandenburg van den Gronden, Director Design Strategy & Growth at Anthem: The rebranding of Transavia is disruptive, despite the fact that existing features have been taken as starting points. The use of icons at the belly of airplanes to communicate with both individual and business passengers, regardless of language or culture, is revolutionary and relevant and deserves praise. A brand message has rarely been presented with so much impact on the ground or in the air. Despite the impact, the rebranding is not convincing: how does this new identity contribute to a reassessment of the Transavia brand compared to its direct competitors in the low-cost segment such as EasyJet? Generic icons like a suitcase, a plane or a deck chair with palm tree won’t take care of this, neither does text such as “Selected for you!” or “On the way!”, which are all parts of the new identity as well. In the past, Transavia has never been a very “desirable” brand for the business or leisure traveller. The new identity does not fundamentally change this within the ailing Air France-KLM group where acceleration in brand performance is badly needed. Score: 4
Stefan Pangratz, Design Director at VBAT: Airlines have always been looking for the right balance between customer trust, security, national pride and, once EasyJet entered the market, low price. While country carriers like British Airways were experimenting with flags and country colours on their tail fins, we saw EasyJet putting their emboldened URL across the fuselage. BAM! Impactful, cheap and simple, a new category code was born. The world of airlines has never been the same and cut-throat competition has become the norm. It seems that Transavia, like most airlines, are still struggling for the right balance between trust and price. I see the link with online aesthetics, like the friendly and iconic logo, but overall the identity misses bite and aggression. Maybe a territory only true challenger can claim successfully, like EasyJet did in its early days. I could never have dreamt to appreciate their style…but look at me now! Score: 7