• Transform magazine
  • March 03, 2024


RAF celebrates centenary with new brand campaign

  • RAF 100 2.jpg
  • RAF 100.jpg

Just over a century ago, on 1 April 1918, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was launched to serve Britain and its territories from the air. To coincide with this historic milestone, the RAF has launched a new brand campaign created by brand design agency Coley Porter Bell. Employing a flexible visual identity designed with cross-generational appeal, the new identity will be used until September 2018.

Led by Coley Porter Bell’s unique ‘visual planning’ methodology, the updated branding and assets for the RAF centenary are inspired by both military heritage and the need for flexible future-focused visuals. Although the classic and iconic RAF roundel is still core to the overall brand identity, its application alongside more contemporary marketing collateral shows that Coley Porter Bell has adapted the design to be applicable in a digital age.

For air commodore Nigel Bradshaw, head of media and communications at the Royal Air Force, Coley Porter Bell has perfectly understood the purpose of the RAF – translating it into a branding project. “Not only has [the agency] managed to encapsulate the past 100 years in this campaign, but it has brought to life the innovative and exciting essence of the Royal Air Force,” explains Bradshaw.

“This is a momentous year for us and I am confident that this fresh, new campaign identity will ensure that we commemorate our past, celebrate who we are and what we do today, and inspire the next generation.”

In its unique approach to branding, Coley Porter Bell also successfully merges science and design. Combining findings taken from neuroscience-oriented research with a heritage-led creative approach, the RAF spirit of persistence and triumph in the face of adversity remains front and centre of the brand campaign. Using photography, notions of pride strengthened through 100 years of service runs throughout the brand assets.

For the RAF, fostering this connection with a new generation of British citizens is paramount to cementing the brand’s legacy – as well as future communications.

Vicky Bullen, CEO at Coley Porter Bell, says, “We were delighted and very proud to work with the RAF to develop a campaign to celebrate their 100th anniversary. The RAF has, of course, played a key role in this country's past, however what excited us was its vision for and role in the future. We hope our campaign helps people to understand the innovative and exciting nature of the work they do as it heads into its next one hundred years.”

During a pivotal time for the armed forces regarding recruitment, retention and reputation, delivering a succinct brand project could help reinforce potentially forgotten connections between the air fleet and Britain's history. For the RAF, a century of service is duly marked with a brand campaign that puts the organisation’s values at front and centre.

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