Brand: Airtel

Owned by: Bharti Airtel Limited that comes under Bharti Enterprises Ltd

Design: The Brand Union, London and JWT India

Design brief: ‘The new international identity has been specially crafted to appeal to a more dynamic & demanding audience. The unique symbol is an interpretation of the ‘a’ in airtel. The curved shape & the gentle highlights on the red color make it warm & inviting, almost as if it were a living object. It represents a dynamic force of unparalleled energy that brings airtel and its customers closer.

The specially designed logo type is modern, vibrant & friendly. It signals airtel’s resolve to be accessible, while the use of all lowercase is our recognition for the need for humility.

Red is part of airtel’s heritage. It is the color of energy & passion that expresses the dynamism that has made airtel the success it is today, in india, and now on the global stage.’

Logo release: 18 November 2010

Previous Logo:

airtel old logo

This old Airtel logo was designed by Ray+Keshavan | The Brand Union, Bangalore..

3D rendering

The 3D version of the logo that appears in airtel website is the following.

airtel old logo

It can be easily seen that the sharp edged ‘Airtel’ font does not go well with the curvy rounded logo.

Why a swirl?

Airtel has acquired Zain Africa’s operations in 15 countries. The following is Zain’s logo.

airtel zain logo

Zain may have influenced airtel’s new logo. For me, Zain logo is an ‘eye of a storm.’ I have seen the new airtel logo animated as a tornado in a couple of websites. The following screenshot is from Times Of India website (19-Nov-2010).

airtel tornado animation

A confused JWT India on ‘Oirtel’

Recently, Times of India changed its masthead to include Airtel’s logo. This led to a huge embarrassment to JWT India who handles Airtel’s account. It is a common knowledge that the new logo is a stylized version of Airtel’s ‘a’ (Read the design brief above). Strangely, the alphabet ‘O’ in the ‘Times Of India’ masthead got replaced by the Airtel logo. That means, we are left with “Times ‘Af’ India” and “Oirtel.”

oirtel logo

Image Courtesy: Biju Neyyan

On the ‘flip’ side…

The following screenshot is from Airtel’s website (13-Jan-2011). In the banner animation, a horizontally flipped Airtel logo appears.

airtel flipped logo

Tip Courtesy: Yogee

Give me Red

Red seems to be the favorite color in Indian Telecom sector. Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, MTS (Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited), Aircel and Airtel are all using red color. So Uninor and Idea Cellular stand out from this red sea of hoardings in retail outlets.

red logo in telecom sector

Relevant links:

  1. Airtel reveals a new, global identity
  2. Airtel gets a make-over
  3. DesiCraetive Forum: Do you Like Airtel’s New Logo?