History and development strategy of the Swissair brand
Brand development

«Swis­sair» logo. His­tory of brand de­vel­op­ment and iden­ti­fic­a­tion sys­tem

«Swis­sair» has a 71-year his­tory of suc­cess, from its found­ing in 1931 to the bank­ruptcy of the com­pany in 2002 and the form­a­tion of «Swiss In­ter­na­tion­al Air Lines» (SWISS). Over the years, sev­er­al lo­gos have been used, and the brand has come a long evol­u­tion­ary path.

1931. The Stage of Searches and Ex­per­i­ments

For the first few years, there was no stand­ard­ized logo, and even the com­pany's name in ad­vert­ise­ments was not al­ways «Swis­sair». Some­times the posters read «Swiss Air­lines» or «Switzer­land Air». But the search helped to de­term­ine the dir­ec­tion and style of the logo, which will be de­veloped in ad­vert­ising com­mu­nic­a­tions for the next dec­ade.

Company's logo

1940s. Stand­ard­ized font logo

In the forties, a type logo ap­peared, which was placed on air­craft liv­er­ies, in ad­vert­ising com­mu­nic­a­tions and branded souven­irs. The red col­or is gradu­ally be­gin­ning to play the role of a cor­por­ate iden­ti­fi­er; stand­ards are out­lined in the use of the logo, which reg­u­late its use.

Development of the logoForm style

1950s. Sign and dy­nam­ic font

The com­pany un­der­went a ma­jor rebrand­ing in the 1950s. De­sign­er Rudi Birch­er has cre­ated a styl­ized air­plane ar­row. The graph­ic design of the logo has be­come dy­nam­ic and mod­ern, cap­it­al let­ters were used in the name «Swis­sair», which gave the com­pany im­age in­teg­rity and solid­ity, and the font rhyme of three let­ters «S» - dy­nam­ics.

There were many pos­sible uses for the logo: an ar­row sign with the «Swis­sair» logo in­side, a vari­ation of the place­ment of this design in a circle, the use of the logo sep­ar­ately from the sign, the use of the logo only with a descriptor, the abil­ity to place the ar­row sign sep­ar­ately from the com­pany name. For all these situ­ations, vari­ations were cre­ated: pos­it­ive for use on light tones, neg­at­ive for dark tones, and ad­di­tion­ally lin­ear op­tions.

RebrandingLogo design

1960-70s. Sign only

Fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the cor­por­ate iden­tity led to a change in the rules for us­ing the logo, an ad­di­tion­al blue col­or ap­peared. The «Swis­sair» logo has be­come quite re­cog­niz­able, which has made it pos­sible, in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases, to use it sep­ar­ately from the mark. And the air­plane ar­row from the basis of cor­por­ate iden­tity has turned in­to a pic­to­gram and began to be loc­ated at a dis­tance from the logo, each time find­ing new op­tions for loc­a­tion on ad­vert­ising me­dia.

Logo and corporate identityLogo and corporate identity design

1980-2000s. Latest Swis­sair logo

In 1981, the com­pany cel­eb­rated its 50th an­niversary, by which date the com­pany was rebranded. A new logo, sign and new rules for the use of cor­por­ate iden­tity ele­ments were cre­ated. The «Swis­sair» trade­mark this time was cre­ated us­ing only lower­case let­ters, the logo was as­signed black. The sign is as lac­on­ic as pos­sible, at the same time it has ac­quired a swift, dy­nam­ic im­age. The brand name in the form of a beveled rect­angle with a cross in the cen­ter un­am­bigu­ously reads a ref­er­ence to the flag of Switzer­land. At the same time, the lo­gos of the com­pan­ies be­long­ing to the «SAir­Group» man­age­ment hold­ing were de­veloped, in which the air­line's iden­tity can be traced.

«Swis­sair» went bank­rupt in 2002. The as­sets of the com­pany were trans­ferred by the man­age­ment of the hold­ing to the re­gion­al air­line «Crossair», which was also part of the «SAir­Group». Later the name of the com­pany was changed to «Swiss In­ter­na­tion­al Air Lines», ab­bre­vi­ated «SWISS». «SWISS» is cur­rently the largest air­line in Switzer­land.

LogotypeCorporate identity design

Publication date: 09 September 2017