A new era for A1


A1 Telekom Austria Group is a leading provider of digital services and communication solutions. It operates under the brand A1 and serves around 27 million customers in Central and Eastern Europe. Saffron is proud to have maintained a working relationship with A1 since the complete rebrand in 2011 as we continue to evolve and adapt the brand to new markets and business challenges.

In early 2023, A1 launched an updated visual language and design system as it grew into new environments. In the previous five years, as the brand expanded into seven new Central European countries, it confronted the need to adapt to diverse audiences, navigate various communication channels, and keep pace with the ever-shifting digital and physical landscapes.

The brand we helped A1 create was designed in tandem with these demands of their expanding business landscape.

Visual language

Saffron crafted a Design Ethos to guide A1's creative teams, allowing adaptable styles for diverse audiences while aligned with the company's purpose. This ethos fosters creativity and diverges from rigid corporate norms, blending values and traits to fuel the creative process and voice the design's spirit. It elevates user experiences and forges real-life connections, keeping things simple and functional while embracing the vibrancy and potential of a digital era.

At A1's core is the promise of transforming technology into immersive experiences. A1's brand ethos builds on three simple principles to help shape the brand language and ensure that A1 can develop relevant and unique creative output. All design activities for A1 should engender: Simplicity, Responsiveness and Surprise.

The redesign introduces a digitally refined logo, a new icon system, an updated colour palette, flexible type behaviour, art direction and more digitally functional onscreen assets.

Visual language

The complete visual language was developed based on the Design Ethos. It prioritises performance and regional relevance over strict consistency. Brand recognition is achieved through behaviour, personality and attitude rather than mere systemisation. The art direction and illustrations complement the icons, typography and colour to articulate a totally new design language for A1.

With the design refresh we give the designers freedom within a framework – more possibilities, higher visibility, and visual consistency – following our vision: empowering digital life is what we do, and experiences are what you get.

Stefan Schindele

Brand Strategy & Corporate Design

Embracing dimensionality

The uniqueness of A1’s logo lies in its dimensional aspect. It celebrates space and physicality, offering opportunities to enhance the visual language in three dimensions. A new digital version emerged, shedding the white container and enabling more dynamic usage. This evolution granted the logo newfound boldness, accentuating its 3D shape, material, and motion qualities.

The colour palette evolved from a monotonous red to a diversified range of reds that encompass the logo's tones. This enriched colour scheme was supplemented by accent colours, infusing the digital environment with versatility and vitality, enriching visual communication.

Type and headline styles underwent a complete overhaul, offering creative liberty within the design system. Although the iconic A1 font possessed distinctiveness, its versatility had been limited. A new outline variation of the typeface was developed, and roles were reassigned to A1 Sans and Serif fonts. This transformation enabled greater responsiveness to the brand's evolving needs.

A digital-first brand

The digital behaviour of the design system underwent a fundamental shift, embracing dimensionality, materiality, and a richer colour palette. This helped redefine the brand's on-screen elements and unlocked the potential for the UI teams to generate a new kind of experience for A1.

Additionally, iconography evolved to suit the digital landscape. It functions effectively at the smallest possible sizes but equally evolves as animated communication elements to illustrate concepts and messages.

The brand refresh is being implemented and adapted across the A1 network, moulding to the cultural and digital needs of each country as it was designed to.