Condor revealed perhaps the bravest new livery and brand image today we’ve seen in a decade. Actively opting to shun its previous looks and celebrate its leisure market, the airline has adopted a bold new, deck chair and beach towel inspired (I kid you not) livery.
No, it’s not April 1st, and we did have to double check, but condor have done away with the usual horizontal cheat lines and traditional Eurowhite liveries for something that will certainly standout on an airport apron. To quote Condor’s press release, “Condor is vacation. And vacation is stripes.” We have to agree that Condor is evolving into a distinctive and unique vacation airline for sure.
“Condor has undergone a transformation over the past two and a half years: From a subsidiary of a vertically integrated travel group to an independent airline that looks back proudly on its history and tradition, while at the same time embarking on the path to the future. We want to express this unmistakably through our corporate identity: Condor is vacation and Condor is unmistakable – like our new design, with which we are now launching into the future,” says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor. “Our new trademark are stripes, our figurative mark stands for our origin and the colors for diversity. This triad is new, what remains is our passion. It has always made Condor unique and is therefore also reflected in our claim: Passion is our compass.”
Once you actually get over the initial shock – which as a designer seems to challenge every design rule I’ve learned – there’s something uniquely refreshing about the design. It’s taken the Braniff Calder approach to livery design with a sea of different coloured aircraft, each with its own unique identity. There’s also a careful balance of the width of the stripes which actually is considered across the entire fleet.
The conception and creation of the new brand identity came about under the direction of Remo Masala, owner of the creative agency vision alphabet in Berlin. “Revising Condor’s brand identity with its long tradition is a delicate interplay based on respect for its origins and requirements for the future. Our goal was to endow Condor with a special visual independence, the rationale of which is united in Condor’s brand essence: the invention of the vacation flight, and the effective vacation code, the stripes of summer, joy and freedom.”
The corporate identity’s lead colours are yellow and blue (not that we see much of it here). They have been complemented by the contrasting color gray. The Condor signet, the condor in a circle, goes back to one of Germany’s most influential designers, Otl Aicher. The figurative mark has been given a facelift, with finer and more dynamic lines. It can be found again in the tail unit of the aircraft. The Condor lettering has also been adapted: It is now more compact, and the new lower case has made the word mark more independent and consistent with the image. The logo appears in high-contrast black on the fuselage of the aircraft.
Funnily enough there’s hints that the airline won’t stop there. The press release says that initially, there will be five colours in a striped look: yellow, red, blue, green, and beige.
The crew uniforms, accessories such as neckerchiefs, ties and pins will shine in the new design too, which will also make its way on board, to the airports, on the website and on social media: in the coming weeks and months, many items on board will be replaced, such as cups, blankets and cutlery, as well as all materials on the ground such as boarding passes, ID cards and airport signage. The replacement will run successively, with nothing of old design being disposed of, but everything being used up. Around 80 percent of the fleet is to be repainted by 2024, because new paint jobs are due anyway. Condor is thus choosing the most sustainable way to redesign its brand identity and fleet.
The new design was unveiled in Toulouse with the first A330neo, which will take off for Condor in the fall. The first widebody will take off with green stripes. As early as tomorrow, the first Condor aircraft in the new look will be on route: the Airbus A321 with the registration D-AIAD will wear yellow stripes and fly to Lanzarote on April 5 at noon. In the upcoming weeks, five more Boeing 757 and Airbus A320/1 aircrafts will be repainted, so that six aircrafts will be flying in the new design in the summer flight schedule. They will mainly fly to Mallorca, Greece, the Canary Islands and Egypt.
It will be interesting to see if passengers warm to the new livery and brand image, and see how carefully the airline balances the stripes motif with other more stabilising block colour elements to soften the brand image. One thing for sure, Condor certainly doesn’t want to approach the summer 2022 season in anything but a riot of colour.