Scandinavian Airlines

Taking Scandinavian Airlines to new heights

Scandinavian Airlines is the leading airline company in Scandinavia and one of the regions strongest and most recognized brands. When we started working with SAS in early 2014 they were under tremendous pressure to accommodate changing customer habits and were targeting bargain hunters. The identity looked like any of other of the low price competitors and the brand was suffering from declining sales, a deteriorating reputation and a lack of direction both internally and externally. Our brief was to provide a more coherent, premium and Scandinavian SAS expression that would create a sense of community for the SAS customers.

Based on data collected by what drives sales we identified and focused on a new target group, the Scandinavian frequent travelers. Meaning those who travel 5+ times per year. This group represent only 12% of the market, but are responsible for a staggering 70% of the airline’s overall revenue. To increase willingness to pay in this group would be extremely profitable for SAS, and that became one of our main goals.

We named our new target group “The True Travelers” and the primary purpose of the new identity was to attract them, by creating a brand and community they would like to be a part of. To succeed the brand needed an upgrade in every sense. We needed to make SAS more premium, aspirational and adapted to our digital age. The new visual identity has helped transform SAS to be perceived as a premium and credible brand whose community the target group want to be a part of. Since launch this has meant an increased willingness to pay by 26%, equivalent to a brand value increase of 167 million Euro.


Some results since launch:

  • From loss in 2014, to a 140 million Euro profit in 2015
  • Brand value increase with 167 million Euro
  • Willingness to pay increased with 26%
  • Return on media investment have increased x4
  • Profit increase of 148 million Euro SAS price premium compared to the largest competitor has increased by 26% since the launch of the new identity.

Project partners:

Åkestam Holst
Å.H Promenad
Å.H Studion
Erik Wåhlström
Ted Bernhardz




We identified and focused on a new target group, the Scandinavian frequent travelers. We named our new target group “The True Travelers”.



We let the wordmark out of its box, letting it roam free – just like our travelers. It also allowed us to use more of the primary blue color.





The Scandinavian typeface was adjusted and updated for optimal readability on all digital platforms, and two new weights were created.






Blue on blue

The world of a traveler isn´t simply blue. We created a new color palette including several new shades of blue that allows SAS to works towards taking ownership of the color blue through working with a blue-on-blue color concept.



Sky gradients

Together with photographer Erik Wåhlström we created the SAS Sky gradients. Organic and beautiful representations of Scandinavian skies at dusk and dawn.




A wide range of new symbols and pictograms were created, corresponding with the design of the typography and graphic elements.



Graphic elements

The new graphic elements are simple, timeless and created for optimal use on digital platforms.




The new image style is inspired by the true travelers view of the world.




Layout system

Our new target group craved a brand as dynamic and vibrant as they are, so a new layout system was created allowing both clarity and readability but also a movement in our typography.


“Our new visual identity is strong, differentiating from our competitors and above all, it has given proven effects. Our target group now perceives SAS as more premium, engaging and attractive.” 


Pia Haag, Director, Global Brand Management


We are Travelers

The We Are Travelers campaign was the launch of SAS new strategic position as the choice for the experienced travelers. Broad and proud media was prioritized with a specific focus on clarity, distinctiveness and premium associations.



Advertising and communication

Examples of the easy to use and easy to recognize new advertising look used in all global communication.





SAS Website

Examples of digital interfaces. UX and functionality was developed by SAS inhouse design team.



On board food packaging

When creating the SAS food packaging we were inspired by cyanotype, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print.












Inflight entertainment system






Inflight menu and store

The Menu & Store printed materials draws inspiration from the magazine world. Inspirational and organically arranged photographs with a focus on taste, quality, seasons and products in combination with unexpected objects are presented against monochrome backdrops. 





Printed materials






The new uniforms were a collaboration between us and Swedish designer Ted Bernhardtz. The updated uniforms, which include a polo shirt and poncho among other styles, are created to make SAS staff more identifiable for travelers navigating busy international airports.






Together with artist and illustrator Amandah Andersson we created a scarf inspired by a view from above. If you take a closer look you might find the letters hidden in the pattern.






Anniversary plane livery

For the SAS 70 years anniversary we created a new livery on a dedicated 737-800 aircraft. The design features a proud and bold SAS logotype on the front and a sky gradient that delicately flows ut from the tail.




“Our design agency has successfully managed to create an identity that unites the entire SAS brand on all platforms and in every channel. Something we have been working towards for a long time.” 


Stefan Hedelius, Global Vice President, Brand & Marketing