Honour lands BMI design brief

British Midland Airways has appointed Honour Aviation to refresh its marketing strategy. The airline branding consultancy is also redesigning BMI’s two departure lounges at Heathrow Terminal One, and its staff uniforms.

Honour Aviation won the year-long contract after approaching BMI last summer about redesigning the uniforms.

The airline is attempting to boost its appeal to business class customers. The consultancy is currently working on interiors concepts for BMI’s domestic and international departure lounges. The lounges are expanding to 1600m2 and 800m2 respectively, as a result of British Airways’ imminent move to Terminal Five. Unchanged since their last design by Czarska in about 1994, the new-look lounges will be installed towards the end of 2008.

‘We want to distance our look from that of our low-cost offer BMI Baby, and are very much in need of a new staff uniform and departure lounges,’ says BMI head of brand comm unication Alison Weatherly. ‘It is a happy coincidence that Honour came to us when it did.’

Honour Aviation is also refreshing BMI’s communications guidelines, which includes defining a photographic style for the airline. However, BMI plans to retain its visual identity and brand guidelines designed by Landor in 2001.

‘The logo and our current livery is still fresh and modern, and gets good reactions from passengers, so we have no plans to change them,’ says Weatherly.

Last autumn, Honour Aviation organised a paid creative pitch to find a young British fashion designer to work with BMI. ‘We know that BMI used to be a strong brand, but it could come forward again if it redefined itself,’ says Honour Aviation managing director Gerrie Smith.

‘We decided that it would suit BMI to work with an up-andcoming British fashion designer.’ Jonathan Saunders won the pitch, and will give the uniform a new look for the first time in more than ten years.

Honour Aviation is the airline arm of Honour Branding. Honour Aviation was set up by Smith and former BA head of design Mike Crump in 2006

FLYING A FLAG FOR DESIGN

• BMI is London Heathrow’s second largest airline

• BMI Baby, launched in 2002, claims to be the UK’s fastestgrowing low-cost airline

• In June 2007, BMI installed lie-flat business class seats on long-haul aircraft, made by Italian company Aviointeriors. In the same month, Honour Aviation was engaged to redesign BMI’s lounges, staff uniforms and to rethink the airline’s communi cations strategy

• In October 2007, Twentysix London redesigned BMI’s website to emphasise a renewed focus on business-class travellers

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