FF Marselis In-Use: Brussels Airport
In January 2014 Brussels Airport revealed their new identity developed by Megaluna, the branding and design leg of multidisciplinary agency The Factory Brussels. In the last one-and-a-half years the appearance of the airport has been changing, gradually incorporating the new branding in the architecture as well as in the posters, displays and other visual supports. While the previous identity focused on the efficient and rational aspect of the airport, the new one stresses its human and convivial character. The team led by Creative Director Vincent Knecht developed a logo that translates these qualities. The red stylized ‘B’ which stands for both Brussels and Belgium can be interpreted in different ways – either as a bird in flight, symbol for the aviation sector and dynamism, or as a heart. This heart refers to the efforts made by the airport to put the customer at the heart of its activities, efforts which are echoed in the major renovations of the airport buildings and improvements in the infrastructure.
To emphasize this change in approach and attitude Megaluna selected FF Marselis as the new corporate typeface. Jan Maack’s idiosyncratic humanist sans serif – now part of a super family thanks to the addition of FF Marselis Slab – replaces the more corporate-like Corpid. Its warm, soft and curvy features are a radical departure from the neutral, matter-of-factly or more technical-looking alphabets usually found in airports. The typeface works very well from gigantic display sizes, where the curved diagonals and typical teardrop-shaped counters define its personality, down to the smallest body text. FF Marselis is used in the logo as well; Art Director Patrick Hannaert slightly customized the bottom of the ‘r’ and the top of the ‘i’ to better integrate the dot, while respecting the rounded shapes of the typeface.
The new identity of Brussels Airport is striking, and beautifully illustrates the versatility of FF Marselis. It also makes a strong case for corporate branding, specifically for such a large entity, to look less “corporate”. There are many more lesser-known and lesser-used gems in the FontFont library waiting to be (re)discovered.