Airlines brand identity is another chapter on brand strategy where very few players actually understand and relate to you’re their overall business strategy. An aircraft livery is a set of comprehensive badge comprising of colour, graphic, and typographical identifiers which operators put on their aircraft.
It is however quite interesting to know that the term is an adaptation of the word livery: the uniform-style clothing worn by servants of wealthy families and government representatives until the early/mid-20th Century.
Almost all airlines had simple typefaces adorning their liveries with a selection of coloured key-lines running along the fuselage, with a usually circular logo painted on the tail. But because we have evolved our visual acuity with the adverts of computers and developed design processes.
Humans have become more adapt at understanding visual information and becoming emotionally attached to a company’s brand. The reason thatthe liveries, and advertising campaigns the airlines used to run were so basic, were do to the technological limitations that designers used to face. This was an era of Letraset and painting by eye, rather than using a detailed 3D computer model to work out a design from every angle. Even back then, airlines knew the cost of adding paint to an aircraft, with American Airlines famously opting for a polished metal airframe with simple painted stripes to reduce the weight of the frame, and inadvertently helping reflect the heat from the aircraft with it’s mirrored finish.
For more than a decade, one of the world’s finest airlines, Etihad Airline has changed its livery design. The national airline of the UAE has becomes the fastest growing airlines in the history of commercial aviation and has also received world’s leading airline award for five consecutive years. Based in Abu Dhabi the airlines represent the best of the Arabian hospitality; warm and generous. Their brand new livery is a showcase of their remarkable progress. Etihad has always believed in challenging conventions and using innovation.
It takes courage to change, but that is what fuelling the Etihad. The livery is completely knew which talks about the past, where they came from and the where are they actually going. As a matter of fact, the interior of new fleet of Etihad’s dreamliner is entirely new but they wanted to reflect the same at their exterior as well. The aviation industry where usually the national bird, animal, flag adorn the tail of the airplane, Etihad came with a different approach putting up shapes. Shapes which are deep rooted, to the local culture of UAE. That was actually an opportunity to come up with new.
The idea was to keep the flag at the entrance showing the sign of welcome. The crest in the fuselage is the symbol of luxury, an hallmark of excellence in conjunction with the name.
The pattern in the aircraft is actually throughout their brand and is narrative about their brand essence. It is based on traditional pattern and manifests with the local architecture. It brilliantly connects the fusion of historicalndmodernization, bringing the sense of transformation, prospect of future. Even the colour represents the journey of Etihad, luxury, warm and the feel of home. People immediately related the livery to the country it comes from. It was an unexpected. It was flying rematched. An aircraft livery design consists of many elements like typeface that is the font. Either the font is exclusively created for particularly or the commercially available is used. Then there comes the type case meaning small letters or capital or even mixed with both. It also comprises of italicised, regular, bold, proportion. This forms the logo type. Then there comes monogram or emblem, the geometrical shape. The result of this forms the logo. The logo has to be adapted to be fit in different curved surface for different viewing angle. After the logo type and logo, there comes the life of the entire story, the colours. The colours are chosen as per the standard specification with theresult called colour way. There are in fact different types of livery design like:
In the initial stage of aviation, the technology was not advance and so was the brand identity concept as well. Since the paint was quite expensive with poor adherence to metal, leaving the larger part of the aircraft unpainted was logical and economical as well. So only a particular part, like the tail section was painted just for identification purpose, leaving the rest unpainted.
The etymology of the term stems from “cheating the eye” because the first cheat lines aimed to streamline aircraft visually by reducing the staccato impact of their cabin windows. A cheat line is a decorative horizontal stripe applied to the sides of an aircraft fuselage. Cheat lines migrated from the window line to below or occasionally above it.
In aircraft livery design, a “hockey stick” means a continuation of the cheat line which is rotated through an angle so as to sweep upwards over the tail fin. All over colour: The eventual design involved painting the entire aircraft fuselage in one of several single bold colour ways.
From the 1970s, the overall colour idea began to spread worldwide, largely in the form of “Eurowhite” liveries in which white was the dominant colour. A side benefit of the overall white look was that it helped airline asset management.
Jellybean liveries involve multiple alternative colour ways in which entire aircraft or parts of them are decorated. A Jellybean variant involved decorating tail fins in different designs.
This places the airline title centre stage in the livery,often at the expense of the cheatline.
Commemorative liveries are used to celebrate a milestone in an airline’s history, including anniversaries.
Heritage or Retro Liveries
A heritage livery is a restoration of a past livery for publicity purposes or to stress the length of an airline’s experience or tradition
A logo when used for charter service; sports teams and touring rock bands are common examples, a logo of a prominent charity, when the airline and charity have a partnership, images of a city, usually a hub or other city of importance to the airline, advertising for a company
Aircraft carrying state or government leaders are often liveried in national colors or the insignia of a particular government office.
Military aircraft often make use of aircraft camouflage to make the aircraft more difficult to see in the air and on the ground. This form of camouflage makes use of light and color patterns, and is dependent upon environmental conditions and is mainly effective against human observers, though some electronic visual acquisition systems can be affected. Visual camouflage does not protect an aircraft against radar location or heat seeking electronics. The livery design is based on many factors. It could be a re branding or just a logo identification purpose. On next issue, we will be bringing the stories behind the livery design of an airline.