Bibliothèque: Virgin Atlantic – Inflight meal service with a friendly personality

On a recent trip with Virgin Atlantic we were happy to see thought and design had gone into the graphic communication of the inflight meal service and associated ephemera, and to our delight it was conceived by Bibliothèque Design (working alongside the Virgin Atlantic in-house team and product design consultancy MAP).

Sure, a few years have passed since it was created but as we’ve always said on the Baseline blog, this is a space to collect things that inspire us and to share it with the community. So sit back and enjoy some well-travelled design that makes the unimaginable 10000 mile round trip everyday.

Meal set

The design uses emotive, food-centric typographic textures and patterns in multiple languages, reflecting the airline’s global customer base. The text varies from description of contents, such as ‘spoon’, calls of action, ‘tuck-in!’; or even to say a friendly message in relation to when the meal is being served, a ‘good morning!’ with breakfast.

This all contributes to the personality of Virgin, the easy-going, ’hip’, airline that you’d happily go for a beer with. When long-haul flights feel like an eternity why not create a little light conversation with the use of some playful typography.

Environmental sustainability was at the forefront of the project and the packaging concepts supported this with carefully sourced materials which were selected for their eco credentials and to minimise weight, saving 132 kg per aircraft. Compared with the fuel-burn from the weight of the previous dining service, the service delivers a 4 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Innovative design within inflight meal services has long been pursued by airlines, Lufthansa being one of the most notable in establishing space saving and user friendly systems with great examples dating from 1963.

Economy class, Nick Roericht, 1963-88
Economy class, Nick Roericht, 1963-88
Wolf Karnagel, 1963
Wolf Karnagel, 1963
First class, Hans Theo Baumann, 1967
First class, Hans Theo Baumann, 1967
Topel & Pauser, 1985
Topel & Pauser, 1985

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