Opened in 1938, London Luton Airport (LLA) is, as its name implies, an Airport near London in the town of Luton, about 30 miles (50 km) north. The airport handled 9.7 million passengers in 2013 through easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomson, EL AL, Atlasjet, Blue Air, and TAROM airlines, departing to over 100 destinations. Compared to Heathrow’s 73 million and Gatwick’s 35 million passengers, Luton isn’t the most renown London airport but a £100 million renovation over the next 20 years aims to transform the airport into an 18-million-passenger hub. As one of the first aspects of the renovation LLA has introduced a new identity designed by London-based ico Design, who commissioned Gijón, Spain-based atipo to design a custom type family and icon set.
Working closely with the key stakeholders led to four core values that will inform all aspects of the brand. These are expressed in the simplicity and dynamism of the new visual identity which is a clear statement of intent of the airport’s bold ambition for the future. The identity includes a specially commissioned typeface and icon set designed by Atipo. We continue to work as brand and design partners.
The previous logo was… something. A weird variation on a swoosh with no clear motive other than, perhaps, sucking at being a logo. Improving on it wouldn’t be hard and the new logo exceeds all expectations not just for this particular airport but for airports everywhere. Avoiding the usual airport logo clichés of lines sprouting from a central point or swooshy things or things in movement, LLA has adopted a strikingly simple and abstract monogram made out of 9 squares, assembled in 3 triangles, arranged in an unconventional format. It’s pretty fantastic. And the “A” looks like a plane so it’s definitely airport-y.
The vibrant color palette is exciting in stationery and invigorating in terminal super graphics as seen below.
Edit: the type family images have been taken down momentarily while they are corrected to fit the standards. We’ll put them back up as soon as we get updated files.
The custom type family by atipo is another great achievement for this identity and for (type design in general) as it provides an industrious modern take on DIN with plenty of character of its own and some great looking numerals. If this were available as a retail font I would so buy it. Atipo’s icon set is quite charming too… although that fish and coffee icon on the bottom row, second from left, scares me a little of what it stands for.
Overall, this is the one airport identity I remember being impressed by. Perhaps it’s the small size of the airport that has allowed for more adventurous and less dry design but I do feel like it sets a precedent for how an airport can enliven the experience of flying.
Thanks to Brandemia for the tip.