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?