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Chapter 3: Airport Codes & Travel Flip Boards

Designing Two Critical Designs for the First Collection

· Behind the Brand

Relevance of Airport Codes

You’ll notice from the last post that at the same time I started to imagine many different permutations for phrasing like “next stop + destination” such that each city collection could be distinguished but identifiable in a standard way. Airport codes were the answer.

In essence, every person knows his or her city airport names and respective codes. It’s how we identify the city in casual conversation, especially via texting in shorthand, when on the road. For example, “Yea just landed in LAX and gotta head to MIA next.” Yes we are referring to the airport but what we really mean is the city. There are 3-letter codes for every major and minor city that has an airport, which created an obvious way to name each city collection. Furthermore, some cities like Miami are typically referred to by the same abbreviation (e.g., MIA) especially for sports teams.

Font selection was once again the first stage. Digital and regular fonts were tried to compare look and feel. We also realized something pretty funny; some fonts were classically known for other brands and may need to be avoided. We weren’t trying to start a traveling fast food chicken chain…

Initial Concept for a Road Sign Design

The Travel Flip Board

The next invention was the travel flip board design. The concept was suggested to me by a friend Danny, who is a HUGE fan of Miami but has traveled his whole life. The light bulb went off immediately and I then designed the “board.” The tricky part (that Colin helped me physically make in Adobe Illustrator since my skills weren’t yet up to the challenge) was to bisect the letters, and then fit them in their own individual boxes to imitate the actual “flap” design of the board.

JFK in Flip Board Design (Comparing Digital Font)

For those interested, you can check out the original inventors of the flap design here. The actual first full board I envisioned as a large patch or label sewn onto the bottom front of the shirt to show the destination.

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