Work / Gulf Air

Total brand transformation for the original Middle Eastern carrier 

Gulf Air wanted to restore its market position through a new brand identity and an uplift of the quality of its customer experience onboard their aircraft. Tangerine and brand consultants Saffron were tasked with giving the Gulf Air brand a contemporary visual identity. We started by delving into the airline’s past, rediscovering its pioneering magic to give the brand a modern twist.


  • Visual identity
  • Product innovation
  • Cabin design
  • Brand experience
  • Colour, material & finish
  • Design liaison through to manufacture


The project began with an immersion in Bahrain to better understand the airline and the nation it represents. We conducted an audit of the current customer experience and brand touch points to identify pain points to be addressed in the design. We held interviews with Gulf Air’s board and executive team to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and ambitions of the business and held framing workshops with the staff to a gain deeper understanding of the operational challenges. We also conducted a detailed product review of the chosen First-Class seat to seek opportunities to improve comfort and the total customer experience.


The collaborative design team fused the airline’s trailblazing attitude, with the warmth and friendliness of its people, to deliver on the ‘smart with heart’, brand concept. Smart with heart informs every touchpoint of the design: from the new livery and brand identity created by Saffron, through to the cabin interiors, designed by tangerine. We explored alternative possibilities for the cabin configuration and the look and feel, with focus on creating innovative solutions in a highly feasible way to deliver something beautiful from what’s usually utilitarian.


Every aspect of the cabin is finely detailed to express the new Gulf Air brand identity and raise the quality of the customer experience on-board their aircraft. Raised privacy panels divide the business class cabin on the B787, creating more private, intimate zones. The panels feature a 3D sculpted surface, inspired by the iterative geometric forms found in Bahrain architecture. The suites are defined by a sweeping almond gold trim that draws the eye, and subtly echoes the falcon wing tip.