Heathrow Airport

The challenge

Heathrow.com is the digital presence for the biggest airport in Europe welcoming, 80 + million passengers every year.

After appointing a new marketing director with plans to revamp the brand, positioning and overall customer experience, it was clear to the board at the time that the existing website was no longer fit for purpose. An RFP was promptly sent out to a select handful of top-tier digital agencies.

Upon winning the pitch, the challenge was made clear: move nearly 3.5 thousand pages of passenger, investor and partner-centric functionality and content to a new CMS platform, give it all a unique modern design and world-beating customer experience. Oh, and please make sure it goes live in 8 months!

I was asked by Publicis Sapient executive creative team to help steer the creative direction of the project. My role was to ensure the user experience and brand design informed the technical challenges and delivered a world-beating digital presence that supported and exceeded Heathrow's business goals.

Agency: Publicis Sapient

My role

  • Creative Director

We began with an initial period of rapid immersion and research. During this phase, we interviewed key stakeholders and audiences, interrogated data, explored competitors and looked at sector and wider trends.

A series of design methodologies were used to help add structure to our findings and turn them into tangible actions that the team could deliver on in the following phases.

This immersion helped drive insights, create hypotheses and inform he next stage in which we conceived our design and creative approach.

During the Design phase, we created several concepts that explored the brand look & feel, design principles and creative approach. Working closely with the Heathrow's in-house marketing team to ensure complete cohesion and unity throughout.

With a chosen concept in place, we then began a series of fast, Agile sprints carefully planned to create design solutions and templates, simultaneously feeding the back-end development teams that needed to start much sooner than would have typically been considered practical as a result of our extreme deadline.

The solution

Heathrow is now the proud owner of a cutting-edge web presence that accommodates all its business and audience's needs. Able to personalise features and functionality that support the modern travellers' need to move quickly and safely through their journeys, the site is efficient, rewarding, and an elegant, dynamic and modern interpretation of Heathrow's brand.

Key deliverables

A series of films made by Alex Osman for Land Rover
View examples of Heathrow visual design

Visual Design

A dynamic modern design that nods to Heathrow's celebrated history and status a true British Icon, while assigning a touch of glamour and sophistication. Our design work and positioning have moved Heathrow towards the aspirational and helped create new opportunities to engage with luxury and high-end brands.

Through new art direction for their brand photography, we highlight the human nature of travel while creating a sense of space and personal freedom. We also developed a bespoke font that Heathrow can use across all its marketing platforms, helping to create a strong identity, foster consistency and save them money.

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A massively fulfilling job that was delivered to a very rigid timeframe and demanding brief. The new heathrow.com is up and running (delivered on time of course). With future drops planned to increase functionality and capability.

Heathrow has been extremely generous in their praise for the new site, and the continuingly positive feedback and data from both audiences and retail prove it's possible to serve the needs of both, without sacrificing either..

Please contact me if you would like to know any more about this (or any other) project.