Columbia Metropolitan Airport - Terry Ward photo.

Representatives from Columbia Metropolitan Airport officially launched a new campaign Tuesday to include a new logo and website. The new look will continue to focus on and highlight CAE's legacy of "flying with ease," now with a more modern style and representation of its core values.

“Many months of thoughtful research went into the selected narrative and creative elements that we decided to go with for this brand refresh,” said Director of Marketing and Air Service Development, Kim Jamieson. “Numerous staff think-tanks were held over the year to determine a comprehensive look and feel that was unmistakably the new Columbia Metropolitan Airport.”

Out of 19 proposal submissions from across the country, CAE awarded Sparkloft Media, in partnership with Period Three, with the contract that included a complete refresh and rebuild of the airport's website.

Sparkloft Media Account Director Mandi Cox said the agency is excited to share what they've been working on, and thankful for the opportunity. “We are honored not only to have been chosen for our expertise in travel and tourism, but also to be a part of the progress in Columbia as we launch a new brand and website that is reflective of my hometown airport," she said.

"Through the entirety of our creative process, one thing rang true with every interaction; CAE’s core values are centered on the customer experience and elevating that experience compared to every other airport in the U.S.,” said Greg Hilton, Partner and Chief Opportunity Wrangler, Period Three. “These elements of comfort, connectivity and discovery can be experienced throughout the new website and rebranding. We’re so thrilled to have been a part of this process working with CAE and the Sparkloft team."

Elements of the rebranding include a new CAE website and an updated logo featuring a new design and brand colors. It will be featured in all airport advertising/marketing efforts, on social media outlets, and airport signage.

“We celebrated a number of accomplishments in 2019 and there are more on the horizon as we move forward into 2020,” said CAE Executive Director, Mike Gula. “It was time to refresh our overall look and feel to reflect our mission to be a welcoming front door to our city. The brand refresh reflects our story and mindset in continuing to move forward as a key and vital economic development player in this region.”


(1) comment


While I really admire the overall design upgrade from where the CMA identity was previously, I am extremely surprised at the poor execution of the typographical elements of the subtext. Specifically, the uneven and inconsistent letter spacing and kerning of the subtext - METROPOLITAN AIRPORT. The COLUMBIA looks to be better.

I know what it's like to immerse oneself it the refinement process of a wordmark. I understand how technical details can be overlooked after multiple refinements. That said, during the production of a trademark, prior to the finalization of the logo FILES, the designer needs to overly scrutinize the spacing relationships of every letterform. This should include the SUBTEXT. 

For example, failure to correct the gaping kerning issue between the 'T' and 'A' (in METROPOLIT AN) and the off-center 'T' unevenly spaced between the 'E' and the 'R' (in MET RO), are just a start. An experienced designer will catch these issues in a nanosecond. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be critical. One may say "no one will notice" but extreme attention to details like this should go without saying. Such high-profile trademarks deserve unprecedented scrutiny. No doubt this full wordmark will be produced in every medium possible. When it is (and if it looks like this one) it will be imperfect. 

If all of the CMA wordmark logo files look like the one in this article, I'd be irate if I had been the one who commissioned this project. Chances are, this slipped through the system. If not, CMA looks like they hired a novice to produce their brand identity.

No doubt this needed project cost CMA a pretty penny.My hope is that a pre-finalized version was mistakenly uploaded to this article. If not, the stakeholders of CMA should demand this issue be fixed.

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