Brand Identity

Airports are much more than just air travel facilities. Worldwide they have become multifunctional commercial and hospitality centers. Customers and airlines increasingly choose destinations and transit hubs based on the perceived quality of the experience. Significant infrastructure development underway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport provided a timely opportunity to signal a new era of customer-centered travel. Turnstyle, together with our strategy partners at Stoke, developed a new brand position, logo and visual identity system to carry the airport into the next decade and beyond.




Strategy, Identity, Digital, Print, Environments


Like the region itself, the airport has undergone massive growth in the past decade. Now a top-ten U.S. airport with 30 airlines connecting to 91 domestic and 27 international destination, the airport served 51.8 million passengers in 2019 alone. But along with historic growth had come a bit of a brand identity crisis. While the name of the airport remains Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, it had been variously identified as the “Port of Seattle” operationally, as “Sea-Tac" locally, as “SEA” nationally, and sometimes as a more generic “Seattle” internationally.


The objective was to clarify the airport's identity and to facilitate a strong and consistent brand experience—to inspire travelers, to promote the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, to reflect the region’s civic pride as an international gateway and to provide a unifying customer service vision of excellence for employees. Success would mean distinguishing the airport as a celebrated destination and, ultimately, influencing travel choices for customers and the commensurate investments by airlines in the region.

Pos Logo 16X9 B
Sea Logo 16X9 D

SEA what we did there?

Travelers recognize three-letter airport codes on luggage tags and when booking online reservations. We embraced this industry standard by making S-E-A the simplified moniker for the brand. The stylized curving crossbar of the A, inspired by airline route maps, represents the arc of travel—a journey from here to there (or there to here).

Sea Logo Detail 16X9 X
Sea Sky Bridge Rendering E
Sea Every Day Elevated 16X9 D

Bridging the future

SEA will soon boast the longest aerial walkway over an active taxiway on the planet. It will connect the new International Arrivals Facility to the Main Terminal, offering stunning views and symbolizing SEA's position as a leading international gateway. A graphic arc or “ribbon of travel,” inspired by the bridge (and derived from the crossbar of the A in the logo) is used to symbolize the excitement, potential and promise of an elevated travel experience at SEA.

Sea Sky Bridge Rendering C
Sea Emerald 24
Sea Logo Colorways C
Sea Greenery I
Sea Greenery C2

It’s easy being green

Seattle and surrounding areas are filled with lush vegetation year-round due to prevalent rain and the proliferation of evergreen trees. This naturally influenced the color palette of the visual identity system.   

Sea Color Anime R
Sea Green Means Go 24X14 M
Sea Seattle At Night E
Sea Reflect B

An eye on exploration

Seattle and Tacoma are poised at the edge of one of the world’s most vibrant natural, cultural and business ecosystem. The brand position calls for the airport to leverage these assets by engaging and guiding customers to the region’s rich possibilities—to provide an elevated travel experience inspired by the natural promise of the Pacific Northwest.

Sea Spheres 4
Sea Airport Ready Set Explore N
Sea Typography 3
Sea Elevator Closed E
Sea Single Screen Marquee H
Sea Water Station E
Sea Poster Wall 06
Sea Digital Marquee Animated G A
Sea Horizontal Billboard A
Sea Jetway B
Sea Portrait J
Sea Portrait G
Sea Phone H
Sea Park And Watch E
Sea Parking Kiosk F
Sea Icons F
Sea I Pad D

DOT icon style

Long before emojis there was a standardized iconographic language developed through a collaboration between AIGA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to help guide travelers on their way. This universal icon system is still in use and is easily recognizable by travelers the world over. As pictured in this signage concept, it is the basis for the SEA approach to icons—emphasizing function and familiarity.

Sea Monument Sign D
Sea Flags D
Sea Podium E
Sea Shirt Badge D
Sea Extruded Sign H
Sea Business Card K
Sea Brochure J
Sea Brochure K
Sea Brochure Spread H
Sea E Newsletter C
Sea Step And Repeat Q
Sea Step And Repeat Y
Sea Grow Construction Barrier L
Sea Construction Barrier E
Sea Patterns E
Sea Journals C
Sea Luggage Tag E
Sea Tote L
Sea Buttons C
Sea Beanie
Sea Brand Guide B
Sea Escalator H

The brand mantra

We endeavored to raise the airport’s sights above and beyond aviation infrastructure. To position the brand to cater to the well-being of the traveler. To elevate the customer experience and set a higher standard for customer service. To be empathetic, efficient and proactive. 

Sea Flag K

“The SEA brand was conceptualized and launched pre-pandemic to help us manage the customer experience at one of the nation’s fastest growing airports. And now, under dramatically different circumstances, it is still guiding our work. The brand focus on demonstrating a passion for the well-being of customers has provided a true-north for our work in the very uncertain early days of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Julie Collins
Director, Customer Experience & Brand Strategy
Aviation Customer Service
SEA (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)

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