Eastern Airlines‘ new visual design and strategic positioning is part of the iconic “Big 4” airline’s return to air for the first time since 1991. Eastern Airlines’ first flight back is planned to go between Guayaquil and JFK on January 12th.
As part of Eastern Airlines return, strategic creative agency Mechanica, in partnership with brand strategy boutique Playbook Studio, developed a new brand identity, CEO letter, regional icons, visual identity, and website layout to better reflect Eastern Airlines revived, modern offerings.
When redesigning the logos, Mechanica also wanted to recognize the monumental shift that has occurred in air travel since Eastern first debuted, when air travel was a novelty and an exciting part of the experience. Today, travelers are more focused on the destination and the adventure that lies ahead. The new Eastern Airlines is not about flying, but about the places you’re flying to.
The relaunch of Eastern Airlines is driven by the motivation to open up underserved markets around the globe and bring back a sense of awe and wonder to air travel.
The new brand identity for Eastern Airlines is represented in the airline’s new main “map” logo, which bridges the old and new. The new logo is a dramatic departure from traditional airline design systems in that it flexibly serves to represent all cultures and is not tied to one geographical area. It incorporates the airlines’ original hues of dark blue, light blue, and golden yellow to represent water, sky, and the sun, representing the universal space we all share as global citizens when choosing to fly.
To highlight each unique destination the airline will service, Eastern will also have supporting logos and designs unique to each market, which were inspired by the local colors and geography of each individual market and created with input from the local flight crews in each market. For example, the three main rivers of Guyana and the colors of its national flag inspire its supporting logo for Georgetown, and will be incorporated into Eastern Airlines’ website, social media platforms, marketing materials and uniform accessories.
As a further nod to the past, the airline’s original “hockey stick” airplane image will be incorporated into the design system, appearing in surprising places throughout the online an in-person brand experience, providing sense of delightful nostalgia for those who spot it.
The new website, created by Mechanica, captures the essence of the “explorer” brand and can be seen at goeasternair.com
“As the ultimate ‘explorer’ brand, Eastern returns to the skies to bring travelers non-stop to some of the world’s most inspiring places. To celebrate the airline’s global reach and their aspiration to return a sense of awe and wonder to the travel experience, we built a brand identity that captures not just the spirit of the airline, but the unique energy and history of the fascinating stops on the Eastern routes as well.” — Libby DeLana, Co-Founder/Creative Director, Mechanica
“Mechanica and Playbook Studio did an exceptional job creating a brave new brand identity that breaks out of the conventional branding of most airlines today. The new identity connects us to the local cultures of our crews and where we will he flying with a connection to both our past and our future.” — Steve Harfst, CEO, Eastern Airlines.
“Taking an iconic brand like Eastern Airlines with a rich history of famous iconography and advertising is an opportunity of a lifetime. We wanted to honor and tap into its pioneering past while creating a brand identity that sets the course for the future.” — Graceann Bennett, Founder & Chief Strategist, Playbook Studio.