The influence of business models and carrier nationality on airline liveries: an analysis of 637 airlines

The colours and design motifs that are applied to the world’s commercial aircraft fleet are one of the most visible and familiar expressions of an airline’s brand and corporate identity. Some logos, including Lufthansa’s flying crane and American Airlines’ Eagle, have existed in various forms for ov...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Lucy Budd
Format: Default Article
Published: 2012
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Online Access:https://hdl.handle.net/2134/9884
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Summary:The colours and design motifs that are applied to the world’s commercial aircraft fleet are one of the most visible and familiar expressions of an airline’s brand and corporate identity. Some logos, including Lufthansa’s flying crane and American Airlines’ Eagle, have existed in various forms for over 80 years and have become iconic symbols of commercial flight whereas others have come and gone very quickly as new airlines have entered and left the marketplace. All airlines strive to develop corporate identities which not only convey the core essence of their brands in memorable, instantly recognisable, and culturally appropriate ways, but which also differentiate them from their competitors. One of the most visible and integral components of an airline’s corporate identity is the livery that is applied to its aircraft. However, despite the diversity and commercial importance of airline liveries, academic considerations of their form and content are rare. This paper reports on the findings of an in-depth visual content analysis of 637 global airline liveries. It identifies the most common design features and discovers that the use of particular colours, colour combinations, visual motifs, typefaces, and design characteristics vary both by the nature of an airline’s operation (whether full-service, low-cost, regional, charter, or cargo) and its geographic origin. The significance of the findings for current and future practices of airline marketing and corporate identity management is discussed.