We struck out into new territory and did a complete branding of a new private membership-based airline. And, well, it took off.
- Branding & Identity
- Product Strategy
- Brand Collateral
- User Interface Design
- User Experience Design
- Front End Web Development
- Back End Web Development
- API Development
It was Trey Bowles, the co-founder and CEO of The DEC Dallas start-up hub, who introduced us to Nick Kennedy, Rise's co-founder and CEO. Nick and his co-founder Clynt Taylor were looking for a team to help them launch their new company.
Nick and Clynt didn't invent the idea of private jet memberships. The recession's belt-tightening effects led even some of the most affluent companies to rethink the practicality of owning their own private jets, and the chartering process requires too much wrangling and setup. For a state with major cities placed hundreds of miles apart, Texas was the natural launch pad for an industry that let executives in other industries jet to a meeting in one city, grab a working lunch in another, and be home in time for a tee-ball game.
Private memberships give a consumer the advantage of convenience and comfort, but typical member fees aren't anything to sneeze at — a cool $2,000 a month in some cases, with initiation fees that can go as high as $15,000. Nick and Clynt believed they could build on the idea but serve a market that might rise to fly frequently but can't float a couple thousand dollars every month.
They knew they could take care of the operations of their new company, but the two partners needed help taking their vision to the next level. And, ultimately, the level after that.
Rise — before it was even called Rise — was always intended to be more technologically advanced on the user interface side of things than its competitors. The idea was to make the process as easy as opening an app on the way to the airport, tapping a button, and hopping onto a plane.
That sort of thing? No problem. We've raised all sorts of platforms from conception to independent, flourishing adult, and we're proud of the products that have flown out of our nest.
For Rise, we created an e-commerce site that integrates scheduling, flight-booking, and subscriptions. Its users make different types of bookings and hold different kinds of accounts (corporate or individual), but we built it for a greater expansion in mind. Ideally, pilots, co-pilots, flight staff, and even concierges, could use Rise's platform to view the passenger lists, see schedules, book flights, manage wait lists, assist with passenger background checks, and manage planes and routes.
Nick and Clynt envisioned Rise to soar above its competitors in a lot of different ways—convenience of technology and accessible pricing, yes, but also the way it interacted with its consumer. Today, we’re conditioned to intuit a lot of things about a company’s culture and the service we can expect it to provide just by its branding. Rise’s branding, they knew, would have to say, “This is an elegant service, but you don’t have to be a billionaire to use it. (And if you are a billionaire, you’ll find the level of comfort and attention you’re accustomed to.)"
What they had was the product—planes, pilots, and platform (built by us). What they needed was everything else. And we’re not just talking a logo and some stationery; we’re talking fully branded attire, memorable welcome kits for new members, and designing and implementing the wrap for a turboprop jet.
Design Lead Rob Green had to keep the full 30,000 feet of potential in mind while he set about working up initial concepts. He thought about the aviation industry’s tendency towards airy things (wings, birds, suns) and geography (flags and globes), And then he thought about getting simpler.
Rise’s logo supports its foundation of safety and speed. No diagonal lines, which could easily be interpreted as heading downwards, and nothing that looks remotely like a flame (even a sun is a little too fiery to us). We went with strong, secure, and something that would stand out from the other planes in the sky.
The result was the black and green striped motif that carries motion through the logo and provides a nice flat runway, upon which your plane will land safely. Stripes make for attractive and easily recognizable garments for concierges, pilots, and other staff members. Rise approved the concept in only one round of presentations. For the first time, we’d see a project by Mobelux, which got its start making things for tiny screens, blown up, wrapped around an airplane, and flying high above the world.
It felt pretty great.
The Founding Member Kit
Then we had the bright idea to craft the perfect membership welcome kit. While Rise does make a luxury service more affordable, it still attracts individuals and businesses with an above-average amount of income. Anything that a member received after they’d signed up had to look, feel, and even smell classy.
To make things more challenging, we decided that mass-produced anything just wouldn’t do. Not for Rise customers! Not on our watch! So we went with entirely custom-made boxes, inserts, membership cards, and luggage tags made out of the best materials we could get—walnut luggage tags, steel cards, leather straps with brass rivets—all hand-applied and all individualized. We put so much heart and soul into these kits and learned so many lessons (riveting leather is not as easy as you might think), that we may just be giving these to our families instead of birthday presents for the rest of the foreseeable future.
Our curiosity, excitement, and drive to learn new things doesn’t just exist in the realm of 1s and 0s. We learned that it quite seamlessly applies to physical materials as well.
After all, every project benefits from the same principles we’ve always followed: honesty, respect, and trust. We know work is meant to be hard, whether the finished product fits in the palm of your hands or through a 100-foot hangar door.