This week, London City Airport today unveiled a new brand identity, which it claims reflects a more dynamic, vibrant and contemporary look, synonymous with modern London.

Calling the new look “bold” and “game changing” I was expecting quite a big departure from the usual stocky branding of airports, but what was actually unveiled looked pretty samey – and very safe.

The who premise of the branding focuses around a heart motif, is said to reinforce London City’s role as London’s most central airport – at the heart of the city and an airport which many passengers love to use.

But it’s just a heart? It’s not standalone, it’s not recognisable alone… and doesn’t do anything to help brand the airport. It’s not a heart with an aircraft going through it, or slightly tweaked to be a bespoke ‘heart motif’ that also incorporates a runway… or something that aligns the mind with airports.

The re-brand comes as airport is working on a complete overhaul, to the tune of £500 million over four years, with a new terminal and changing face of passengers.

Between June and September 2018, for example, the proportion of leisure travellers exceeded business travellers 52% vs 48% 1 , and a record 4.8 million total passengers used the airport last year.

So if the airport is become more publicly commercial, surely the branding should reflect an accessible airport, leading on quick security times, swift take offs, and a range of airside venues to enjoy.

Instead, this logo tries hard. It tries to be cool, and ends up looking like a number of different elements just shoved together.

It’s like someone said, let’s stick green on it because that represents London’s green spaces, blue for the river… and the heart because we’re the heart of London.

Cool – that all makes sense, but visually does nothing for us as the end user.

On social, it also falls pretty flat, not standing out at all, and scaling the KEY part of the logo – the words City Airport – to unreadable.

Above I’ve dropped some of my favourite airport logos, which all continue the look, feel and brand alignment with an airport. Whether that be smooth landings, take off or the fluidness of the process to check in/leave.

Airports should stand the test of time, breed confidence and not look like a standalone stunt or viral campaign – this, sadly… seems to be the latter.

One last point – DONLON seems to be the airport name now. As we often read from top the bottom, not initially left to right. To add to confusion the location identifier code DON is Dos Lagunas airport in Guatemala… Not close to London at all!

What do you think of the London City Airport rebrand? Let me know in the comments…