Time for a game of spot the difference! An authority in livery design (and a good friend of ours here at thedesignair.net), Remy Chevarin, has created a very elegant alternative solution to the new livery for Air New Zealand which we showcased (and liked) when it was released back in June. Perhaps it will take you a minute to spot the differences between the two images above, but when you do, we believe you will be more drawn to the one on the right (The alternative design).
The more pleasing, albeit subtle, change actually helps make the whole design breathe a little more and feel more considered. The two logos (read our original post to work out how the livery was pieced together) which are trying to work together, now sit comfortably in harmony, with a correct visual hierarchy, Air New Zealand, being the more dominant of the two. This was evident in Mr. Chevarin’s reasoning, “For me the most important piece is the symbol – The Silver Fern – the icon that touches Kiwis body and soul, the fact that it belongs to TNZ is secondary in the message.” The problem that now becomes apparent in hindsight, is the fact the livery had to be adapted to fit the logo in it’s original context onto the plane, requiring a solid monochromatic background for the logo to work. Whilst the Tourism New Zealand silver fern logo has had to be compromised, the essence of the 20 year old logo actually still exists, and in many ways, works better.
Most likely by a happy coincidence, the new livery design, actually has created some beautiful shapes when viewed from below or above, creating a wonderfully organic looking pattern on the empennage of the plane (you’ll see this better in this video link). One thing we are less sure of are the silver nacelles, whilst it sports the 100% New Zealand tag, which is a nice touch, the nacelles when purely silver will quickly become dirty, especially around the reverser section, and will have the effect of making the engines look older than they actually are. Especially on the 787, when these nacelles are so big, this only draws the attention to them further. In our opinion, black nacelles would perhaps have been better options, balancing out the weight of the tail section and harmonising the entire outfit.
Still, Mr. Chevarin has managed to show how even the most simple and elegant changes can make the difference between a good design and an effortless one. Sadly, even though these designs have been put on the desks of Air New Zealand decision makers, don’t expect to see this beautiful livery on the roll out, as they are sticking with their original designs. What do you think, which do you like better?