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Month June 2010

Porter Airlines: A Fantastic Experience

I flew Toronto based Porter Airlines recently and it was an unexpectedly wonderful experience. In no particular order, here’s why.

1. Their in-flight magazine “re:porter” looks great, isn’t filled with ads, and has relatively interesting articles. The subtitle of it is “The Journal of Porter Airlines.” That’s the type of taking themselves seriously that I can get behind.

2. Drinks are served in actual glass vessels. Pleasant. Wine and a Toronto microbrew (an entire 16oz can!) were complimentary.

3. I was served a totally decent little box of food even on the 45 minute flight between Ottawa and Toronto. Clever graphic on the box.

4. Their lounge in Toronto is probably 80% as nice as some first class lounges I’ve been in. It is open to all flyers. Free water, soft drinks, coffee, snacks and wifi.

5. A branding scheme that includes a cartoon raccoon named Mr. Porter. He appears many places but it is not overdone. Their wifi network is called “Mr. Porters Lounge.”

6. All the flight attendants were friendly and well put together. Many of the females wore pillbox hats and looked like the attendants in “2001.” Slightly surreal (in a good way).

7. All of their computers are iMacs. Okay, I don’t really care about this but hey, I’d rather look at a sleek iMac than a junky dummy terminal.

8. All employees were helpful.

9. The flights were only half full. This might not bode well for the airline’s future but it sure was nice.

10. They use new and clean Bombardier Dash 8s. Nice plane.

11. Oh, all the flights were on time.

I have no real lesson to share here. It was just neat to see so many little things done well and how they all added up to make a cohesive great experience.

It is so rare to find companies that care this much I feel compelled to share. So if you get the chance give them a try.

various coordinates

Looks like someone’s CMS was spitting out funny breadcrumbs. I haven’t seen this too much.

Unusable Tableware

Metalwork from David Clarke.

[via today and tomorrow]

Visual Design Libraries Should Be Proud Of

In response to my post beautiful > ugly Suzanne Chapman just shared some examples of nice looking graphic design from the University of Michigan Library.

See her post and the MLibrary Branding & Marketing Materials set on flickr for more.

This got me thinking about two other things I’ve seen recently. The first is a collection of library cards from the Edmonton Public Library (via John Blyberg’s Twitter feed).

They also have an associated sticker contest. I think I have a pretty big crush on this library.

Lastly, the District of Columbia Public Library has two new library card designs. One of them is a promotion for the forthcoming second version of the DCPL iPhone app.

I really like the idea of a library putting out collectable, limited edition library cards that people can trade in their old cards for.