Established in 1927, Iberia is the national carrier of Spain with a fleet of 131 airplanes flying to 37 countries in over 600 flights a day. In 2011 Iberia merged with British Airways operating under the holding company of International Airlines Group. After a rough 2012 and early 2013 that saw a reported cut of 4,500 employees and 25 aircraft, Iberia is hoping to bounce back with a fresh new identity and strategy by Interbrand.
Inspired by the Spanish culture and its influence on the world, the evolution of the new identity has been undertaken in order to increase affinity with all the airline’s audiences by building an expressive, vital and relevant discourse. The new Iberia brand identity reflects a truly revived spirit of excitement and the determination to bring to life a true transformation. The Iberia brand now manifests new aspirations and strategic intent from a company with a great legacy that today boldly reinvents itself.
The new brand personality makes more prominent use of the colors of the Spanish flag, especially of the colour red. Research confirms red is perceived as a symbol of vitality, expressiveness, of Spanish artistry and character. It is a colour which also perfectly represents perfectly the vital spirit of the new Iberia and one of the most admired and creative cultures in the world.
For the creation of the new brand we are inspired by three key elements to the brand: I, the initial of Iberia, the comfort of a seat and the dynamism and movement of a wing.
Combining these elements we have created a special symbol that resembles the tail of an airplane, with its sloping trapezoid so characteristic. A new element that suggests more counting and has a strong presence.
As well as a distinctive use of the airline’s legacy colours, a new symbol has been designed which is reminiscent of the company’s IB initials and industry code letters, now streamlined to suggest concepts such as agility, dynamism and comfort. The symbol inspired an “art of flying” concept, and rendered with ultimate attention to the importance of digital requirements. New graphs, typographies, textiles, materials, photographs and pictograms complete the new brand universe, which will be implemented gradually over the next months across all the airline’s touchpoints.
The previous “IB” monogram was one of my favorite airline logos, despite the ugly crown in it. Its accompanying wordmark wasn’t too original or interesting but it matched the angle of the icon and felt right as a lock-up. The new logo, ay dios mío, is quite a strange catastrophe. The new icon looks like a plane’s tail. Yeah, we get it: planes have a tail that makes them go whoooosh in the air. Let’s move on from that concept, okay? Besides the fact that it looks like a tail and that perhaps, maybe, deep down it looks like the IB initials — spoiler: it doesn’t — the icon is beyond generic. It says nothing about anything. And then there is the new wordmark. At first glance, or when seen small, it doesn’t appear to be bad or to be anything wrong with it but the letters have been drawn as if they were rendered on the fuselage with a very, very questionable engorged effect that makes all the letters look bloated. It’s such a strange design direction to have taken.
In application, there isn’t much to the system other than Surface + Logo where the identity manages to look decent with the use of the logo small. The icon looks good on the tail because it then becomes more of a graphic device rather than the main carrier (pun!) of the airline’s message. The typography’s figure also passes muster once applied on the fuselage as it just looks like the natural distortion caused by the shape of the airplane. The generous white space found throughout the identity adds a flare of European sophistication and the Spanish-flag-color-palette certainly stands out. Overall, a rather disappointing new logo for such a large airline that has been spared complete disaster by decent implementation.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.