You might mistakenly thought the image here was of an AirBerlin aircraft, due to it’s pretty ‘samey’ appearance, but this is Air Canada‘s New Leisure Brand “rouge” (no, not a lipstick) very similar in concept to Qantas’ JetStar, launching from Toronto (and Montreal) mid 2013. Whilst this name might have taken most aviation buffs as a surprise, we here at TheDesignAir happen to feel its a little predictable. The French element was bound to crop in, as with many of Air Canada’s sub-brand product names, along with something that was already on brand, such as the colour, and the name is only one letter out from Air Canada’s inflight publication en-route.

Obviously departing from e’er-so-predictable ‘aviation blue’ and catching on to this decades newest and most celebrated aviation colour, red, (think Air Asia, AirBerlin, Oasis (defunct), Spice Jet, Norwegian, all the Virgin Brands and not forgetting our favourite here, Bingo Airways to name but a few) Air Canada have failed to really surprise us with anything out of the box here. Yes the livery is fairly smart, but the ‘rouge’ lowercase handwritten treatment, just echoes of ‘Thai Smile’ that was only launched this year.


Yet again a low-cost airline brand has to follow suit of the usual markers, lowercase, hand-written, comfortable and easy going typography and branding, with a punchy, short inoffensive universal strap-line that doesn’t actually do anything… “go more”. And don’t think we haven’t seen the subliminal but evident ‘heart-shaped’ letter ‘o’ in the name. Whilst the tail-fin design is both dramatic, bold and contemporary and actually not too bad, sadly merged with the rest of the elements, the airline fails to draw the impact it should. Even the interior product doesn’t really provide anything that hasn’t been seen before with ‘plus’ type seating being hinted at as a premium economy product, most likely with older recliner type seats with the standard 38″ legroom as their premium cabin offering. Let’s hope a good marketing and branding agency can come up with some pretty decent advertising campaigns to give this brand an identity that people can connect with.

Posted by:Jonny Clark

7 replies on “No, It’s Not Jetstar And It’s Not AirBerlin, It’s “rouge”

  1. I actually really like the tail treatment. Part of me wishes that they had a bit of the ice blue on part of the body…something different than EUROWHITE. The script is poorly used to0…but the tail looks great and is actually better than the new Qantas and AIr Berlin tails (but nothing tops the old Qantas tail from 84!)

  2. I think this all a little harsh, I personally find the tail treatment very dynamic in real life and the author seems to forget that red and white are colours of the Canadian flag. I actually prefer this to the mainline livery as once I read someone using “toothpaste” to describe the colour of those planes I’ve seen nothing else. That said I wish Air Canada would update the sidewalls and bins in the Rouge 767 fleet to increase the storage – those plane are pretty banged up inside and incredible dated.

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