For Your Safety / by Helen Zouvelekis

As the end of August creeps up, many of us are fondly looking back to our summer travels. One thing you may have overlooked while jet setting to some exotic faraway land is something I always look out for: airline safety cards. Sure, maybe some of you take out your headphones during the safety announcement as a courtesy. Or perhaps you check out the safety cards by accident when you reach into the pocket only to realize that Skymall has finally been discontinued. If you’ve ever flown before, you already know the gist of what to do in an emergency.

In all seriousness, the safety card is an interesting piece of media that must delicately balance the feeling of urgency and safety. It has to achieve many things. It must convey crucial safety information that can be understood in many languages while instilling a state of calm for a decidedly stressful situation.

One thing that has fascinated me about airline safety cards is the variety of design types at different airlines. Each card essentially conveys the same message. However, it is the approach of the design at each airline that has piqued my interest. Over the years, I've started to collect the cards I find during my travels. I think it's interesting to compare and contrast the designs while also using them as a token to remember my trip. Here is a sneak peek into my collection. Take a look at the differences in color palette, use of text, and even the amount of realism or abstraction. Each card has its own voice.

Which ones do you think are the most effective?


Air France

China Eastern

Delta

Vueling

XL Airways


Katy Marino, Designer