Welcome to A Day in the Life, where we take you behind the scenes at JetBlue to learn more about the important jobs that work in concert together to run a major airline. This time, we visit with Chris, Lashonne and Jaclyn, the design wing of our Brand team, who have some of the most creative jobs at JetBlue.
Chris, the newest member of the team, joined JetBlue less than a year ago with big shoes to fill, but he already has blue flowing through his creative veins. “We have a strong brand, and my job is to take JetBlue to the next level,” he relays. Chris is a manager of brand design. He works alongside two other designers – Lashonne, who has been with JetBlue for nine years and Jaclyn, who started as an intern close to two years ago and moved into a full-time position – and they collaborate with the larger Brand team to create, protect and evolve JetBlue’s visual assets.
Just about everything visual that JetBlue creates comes through the design team, and anything that touches the customer during the travel experience is a reflection on JetBlue. Basically, the team handles a lot (think: three people that handle our design work for our 14,000 crewmembers and millions of customers)!
“We take a look at what others are doing, and carve our own path,” Lashonne shares. Anyone who knows the JetBlue brand, knows that we have a distinctive look and feel and Lashonne and Chris and Jaclyn are the ones who create and refresh it. The team’s current radar includes expanding the use of our color palette, pushing the boundaries of playful design and ultimately creating the most welcoming environment for those flying with us, all while remaining faithful to our core values and sensibilities.
Our visual language is the way in which we speak to our customers though our channels including, but not limited to, jetblue.com, signage in the airports, advertising, the interior of our aircraft, the back walls at the airports, our uniforms, our logos and our products. They work closely with lots of other workgroups at JetBlue including Corporate Real Estate, Communications, Interactive (the team that oversees our digital assets), IT, Cargo, Flight, Inflight, Airports, and they also work with outside business partners to ensure the JetBlue is accurately represented out there in the world.
“We serve as the visual voice of the brand,” says Lashonne. Whether it’s creating collateral for a marketing campaign, an event with a partner like Lufthansa or Hawaiian, or banners for the newly redesigned website, this group works each day to keep JetBlue’s look fresh and exciting.
The team’s’ job is much more than just graphic design – their objective is to go one step beyond what most brands do in wanting to “create an experience” for their customers, something Chris points out is fleeting. “We aim to create memories at JetBlue, because that’s what stays with you even after your trip has ended,” he relays. “Our goal is to make the entire travel experience, from time you book your flight on jetblue.com or on the JetBlue iPhone App, to time spent in the airport, on your flight, and even after you’ve landed, a friendly, consistent, and memorable experience.”
The small, but talented design team employs a mantra to everything that they touch – Nice, Smart, Fresh, Stylish and Witty – the five, core brand elements that we use to describe JetBlue’s personality. Some of the things the team has to consider when designing something, whether a new livery or a sign at JFK, is not just what it looks like but also what purpose it serves and how long it can live before it will need updating. They have to think about what information should be included on the sign and where it should be positioned so that it’s of most use to our customers traveling through JFK. The team’s work, in essence, is not just about making JetBlue look pretty, but about providing a seamless and pleasant experience for our customers.
Prior to joining JetBlue, Chris worked for a variety of organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society, Two Twelve Associates where he worked on Shea Stadium, former home of the New York Mets, London-Sire Records designing CD packaging, and Elan creating snowboards. His first experience with JetBlue dates back to the early days of the airline when his mother saw an article in the newspaper for a new airline flying out of his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. After years of expensive puddle-jumping, Chris decided to take JetBlue up on its offer for affordable fares and free snacks, and “the first time I flew JetBlue, the experience delivered on its promises.”
Lashonne traversed the magazine landscape in her previous career life, working as a designer on the marketing side for Conde Nast publications, though she’s been with us for so long she hardly remembers her life before blue! “We’ve grown a lot over the past decade and our design has as well,” she relays. “JetBlue is now a household name.”
Jaclyn focuses largely on designing JetBlue’s digital assets – our web banners, email templates, and images for social media pages for starters, and finds herself most creative when she’s listening to music in the morning or late afternoon. She enjoys the creative liberty granted with her position, and takes seriously her responsibility to uphold the standards of a company with a cool reputation. “We offer a great product,” Jaclyn says. “The design is so much a part of the customer experience and we have the ability to make an impact.”
“You don’t have to be a designer to know that people cherish memories,” Chris explains. “People fly with us for an enhanced experience and a part of that needs to be visual. Our job is to continue to make that better.”
Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and meet Jeff and Greg from Schedule Planning, Loretta in Security, Chris in Inflight, Morgan in Social Media, Don in Air Traffic System Control, and Mike in Ground Operations, and stay tuned for the next edition!