• Transform magazine
  • August 14, 2020


Brand in action: Level


Who: LEVEL and Brand Union

What: International Airlines Group (IAG) has introduced its fifth airline brand, LEVEL, to join sister airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia. LEVEL sees its official launch in June with flights from Barcelona to destinations including Los Angeles and San Francisco several times per week. Global design consultancy Brand Union’s London office was tasked with creating a brand and visual identity for the new low-cost, long-haul airline.

How: Stemming from its no-frills approach to flying, LEVEL’s brand identity features minimalist design: geometric shapes, a sans serif font and a simple dual colour scheme. The brand has been developed over various touchpoints, from the moment a customer buys a ticket online to when they reach the plane. As with any airline, a customer gets to the product last. It was important to the agency that the customer’s interactions with the brand up to this point reflected the experience onboard. To ensure this seamless user experience, Brand Union’s creative director, Marta Swannie, developed versatile graphic patterns which can be easily replicated in a single line of code. For key applications, source images can be recreated into patterns with algorithms, tying into LEVEL’s minimalist principles. In keeping with LEVEL being a digital-first brand, the patterns can be adapted to anything from assets on the online website, liveries and exteriors of the planes to the coffee cups inside them. “The style is geographically neutral, truly global: LEVEL could be from Japan. Or Scandinavia. Or anywhere,” says Paul Cardwell, executive creative director at Brand Union.

Why: The visual identity positions LEVEL’s brand experience around its primary audience – Millennials – a demographic that increasingly prioritises value and good design. Recognising these expectations, the agency looked to create a brand that was aspirational, yet pragmatic. “A brand for people who collect experiences not things,” says Alex Clegg, CEO of Brand Union London. Cardwell adds, “For this audience, two things matter. Value and good design. You used to have to sacrifice one to get the other, but not anymore. The design expectations are very high. The team at IAG were really committed to doing something new and different. And we knew that the design had to work on everything from a tail n the size of a building to a one cm icon on a screen.”