Royal Brunei Airlines Reveal New Brand Identity and New Livery

So Royal Brunei Airlines might be an airline you’ve heard of if you’ve been trying to get a cheap ticket on the ‘Kangaroo route’ (Australia to Europe) as they often offer cheaper fares than some counterparts. However, not many people know about it’s image. It seems Royal Brunei have leapt into the 21st Century with a big and fairly courageous bang.

Now whilst we are still to make our minds up on what appears to be a very mismatched livery design, we do like the branding materials that are making up the airlines current advertising campaigns.

First things first, the yellow swash is a modern take on the original logo. It’s very similar to the ‘Mumm’ Champagne logo you’ll find on bottles of champagne around the world, and is a visual symbolization of Royalty. As the royal silk sashes are worn by many Royal families around the world at state occassions. The yellow swash also echoes the Brunei flag. We love it, there is a great modernity in this treatment, and is quite daring for a usually either conservative or radical and relatively young airline industry that is still trying to find it’s feet in the world of branding.

This logo with the traditional crest and modern typeface is actually a wonderful blend of classic heritage and a forward-looking brand. The typeface, however, we are at odds with, the unnatural descender of the second ‘R’ bares little relevance and does little to balance the logo.

But the supporting typeface and type treatments used in their campaign are purely modern. They could be seen as a little cold and minimalist, but that daring choice of brand means it will certainly stand out from its competitors. There are some elements that still don’t sit with the airline’s preconception of their brand as stated by Mr. Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of RB, “Over the next year, we will be redefining the Royal Brunei Airlines flying experience, starting with our classic styled new livery and logo. This redefinition is not merely an ad campaign, but rather a long term commitment to our passengers to create a family-like, peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with high class customer service.” The term family like and tranquil don’t necessarily sit with the modernist brand they have created. Perhaps more will be revealed regarding uniforms and cabin product.

The livery itself is a little odd. Whilst the logo on the side of the plane is brilliant, and understated (It’d be easy for a designer to get carried away with the yellow element of the logo) the tailfin is sadly really under-developed. The letters RB and crest on a bright yellow tail sound like the perfect recipe for a great tailfin. However, the designers here seem to have missed the mark. The RB lettering is small, and too light, nor is there any real purpose or ‘logotype’ behind the typeface here. The letters look like they could have been just produced in everyone’s favourite ‘Arial’ and tweaked a bit. Still, overall, this is something new, and whilst it might get some taking used to, we are glad to see some airlines taking a real ‘designers’ plunge into the world by producing something that actually makes people stop and take note.

We will be keeping an eye on further developments of this airline over the coming months, but in the meantime, what do you think?

12 comments

  1. Ian

    livery has potential

  2. Pingback: SkiftDesign: Royal Brunei airline's new logo & design - Skift

  3. Ashley

    Not keen on the tail fin design…too weak and flimsy

  4. The branding looks great and stylish. I do get what they were trying to achieve with the livery, but I agree with Ashley; a bit to weak and flimsy. It doesn’t really stand out if you see this plane on the tarmac next to other widebodies. Too bad they discarded the old livery with the elegant cheatline (that really made the livery look ‘royal’), but with the new 787’s coming, I guess it’s time for a change.

  5. T towne

    Nice. A simple and inexpensive, yet elegant, paint job that does not take away from the exquisite lines of the 787.

  6. roberthacala

    Great write-up! I agree with a lot of what you pointed out. It doesn’t exactly say family-like and tranquil, but it’s bold and daring and may help them stand out from the rest. Perhaps those brand personalities will come out through their service and brand experience more than from the identity itself.

    At first glance at the yellow swash, I thought to myself, “it’s been done,” but it actually seems to fit very nicely in the design and expresses liveliness.

    The second decending R bugs me too. It just isn’t necessary, and distracts me from the first R and the icon.

    Actually, I think the icon could have been done better. It’s a bit complex. It makes me want to guess what the elements are inside of it and why they’re there… a moon, a flag, wings that look like a moustache, a pair of hands, and some random ribbon underneath.

    Very interesting design, though. Let’s see what else they do with it.

  7. gpan

    roberthacala,
    For you information, thats the Brunei flag crest with meanings and here is for your ref:
    The Meaning & History of the Brunei Flag – The Brunei crest on the emblem includes the wing, the hand & the crescent

    The wing of four feathers symbolizes the protection of justice, tranquillity, prosperity and peace

    The hand represents the Government’s pledge to promote welfare, peace and prosperity

    The crescent is the symbol of Islam, the national religion of Brunei Darussalam.

    yet the livery is gorgeous and I totally agree with Jonny Clark.

  8. Cliff

    A big NO! I don’t like the new livery. The old livery and the livery from the 80s were the best. Too bad they changed it, too much white on the fuselage.

  9. Andrew Deans

    I agree with Cliff – This is bland – Gone is the impact this exotic yellow bird created whenever it landed around the world – The old 82 livery is by far the best – It’s good to see that some airline like Fiji Airlines have gone back in time and rediscovered their heritage through their identity – I wish those days would return – The late 70’s and 80’s created some of the most outstanding + best airline brands…

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  12. Pingback: marketing.com.gr » Inside Royal Brunei’s Designs for Its New Dreamliners

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