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South African Airways, a Star Alliance member, was founded on 1 February 1934 after the acquisition of Union Airways by the South African government. It is one of South Africa’s largest state-owned enterprises operating a hub and spoke network linking 40 local and International destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Oceania from its base at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. In 1997 SAA changed its name, image and aircraft livery, and since then has had two minor tweaks to the primary brand.

South African Airways
  • 2019
  • Brand Pitch

Callsign Springbok.

This work is in response to an agency pitch for the comprehensive SAA business.

It is a known fact that the airline has been in some form of financial difficulty for the past decade, suffering from the age old adage that governments don’t run profitable airlines. Airline people do. The then newly appointed CEO Vuyani Jarana, mandated to turn the airline around, sought new media partners to bring alive his vision of an efficient world-class offering that all South Africans could be proud of. To support this vision, the visual language adopted an evolutionary approach to the primary brand elements, but a revolutionary approach to business and communication strategy. The brand needed to leverage the digital platforms available to it and create a more meaningful dialogue with customers, with enriched content, simplified booking processes and ease of use.

The primary brand moniker continues to be inspired by the national flag but is redesigned with a dynamic forward motion reminiscent of the idea of flight. It deliberately steers clear of being a direct representation of the tail art. This becomes most apparent when applied to the aircraft livery. Additional elements to support the visual language were created by layering the individual elements of the logo, resulting in colour backgrounds used across all brand collateral. Consumers are also encouraged to navigate to by reinforcing this message across all media with a designed lockup of message and brand.