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Air India

A national institution, into a national inspiration

Air India has been the pride of the nation since its inception by JRD Tata in 1932. The company was nationalised in 1953, and recently bought back by the Tata group after 70 years of state ownership. The ambition? redefine the essence of a world-class airline with a distinctively Indian touch, setting a new standard for excellence. To bring Air India back to the forefront of global travel. 

FutureBrand London, in collaboration with its sister office in Mumbai, were tasked with creating India’s first truly global brand. An international airline with an Indian heart. A universally admired icon which echoes the diverse characteristics of the ambitious and recently energised sub-continent. Carrying its hopes, dreams, and numerous possibilities.

Expectations were sky high, with the eyes of the nation on what was to come. Our solution had to deliver a brand identity and experience that captured storytelling from all parts of India, delivered in a way which was bold, inclusive, and accessible.

Our proposed new brand design is a careful mix of heritage with modernity. At the core of the story, the iconic Indian window shape. An asset used by Air India throughout the years, it now takes centre stage, delivering inspirational stories of people, places, and culture of the new, emerging India.

A warm, premium colour palette, along with a bold imagery style and a bespoke font, Air India Sans, which mixes global stature with regional character, are all part of the rich brand design universe.

The brand experience has been redefined to reflect quintessential Indian hospitality through every stage of the customer journey. FutureBrand also devised a set of stakeholder behaviours that help shape employee culture amongst the vast Air India workforce both around the globe and within the country.

The rebrand signals change. It announces Air India’s return to the global stage, allowing travellers everywhere to reconsider the airline for global travel as well as to India as a destination. Air India Express, the airline’s regional branch whose new central idea revolves around being a ‘Smart Connector’ was also reimagined as part of the broader workstream.

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“Air India’s rebrand is a key milestone of what we’ve been calling ‘Vihaan.AI’ – our 5-year transformation plan, which in Sanskrit means ‘the dawn of a new era’. Consulting with multiple stakeholders, we worked closely with FutureBrand to create a refreshed brand that pays respect to the airline’s rich history as well as the nation’s vibrant culture, whilst also representing a New India that looks confidently to the future.”

Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director

"Inspired by the past, we've reimagined Air India's iconic window frame design, transforming it into a 'window of possibilities' that reflects the vibrant diversity of 'New India.' This informs our striking new symbol and logotype. Alongside our brand palette, we've added rich colours, a chakra-inspired pattern, a custom typeface, and an art direction that marries confidence with warmth. The outcome is a premium, inclusive, and accessible brand expression, signifying a bold new chapter for Air India."

Paul Silcox, Executive Creative Director, Experience at FutureBrand
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“FutureBrand is honoured to be working with Air India on this pivotal transformation journey. Through this project and our previous work with American Airlines, we are spearheading two of the most significant airline rebrands of the decade. FutureBrand creates iconic, standout brand design that shows the positive aspiration and boldness of huge nations, and that is what we have achieved in this project.”

Jon Tipple, Global Chief Strategy Officer at FutureBrand
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“Leading a collaborative effort with our London counterparts on such a transformative project is a testament to FutureBrand’s global synergy. The blend of Mumbai's innovative thinking and London's strategic insight not only led to success, but also highlighted the beauty of cross-border unity. This experience reinforced the idea that excellence knows no boundaries. As a team leader, I take pride in our Mumbai-London alliance, and our achievements in the realm of global collaboration".

Tasneem Ali, Executive Creative Director at FutureBrand Mumbai
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