The update to a livery for an airline with a large fleet is a costly, and arduous undertaking. A dramatic shift in livery and brand can create inconsistency for years while a fleet is repainted, and too subtle a shift can be seen as folly. But sometimes the arrival of a new sub-fleet can bring with it an opportunity to refresh the brand look of a carrier. With 787s, 777X’s and A350s entering Emirates‘ fleet soon, it is the opportune time to refresh the carrier’s brand image.

Dubbed a ‘refresh’ rather than a ‘redesign’, Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Aircraft livery is the most instantly recognisable brand real estate for any airline. It’s a visual representation of our unique identity, something we wear proudly, and display in all the cities we fly to around the world. We’re refreshing our livery to keep it modern, without losing the key elements of our identity such as the UAE flag on our tailfin and the Arabic calligraphy.”

In this third iteration of the original iconic livery by Negus & Negus, the UAE flag on the Emirates tail fin is now more dynamic and flowing with a 3D effect artwork, and the wingtips have been painted red with the Emirates logo in Arabic calligraphy “popping” out in reverse white. Passengers onboard with a window view will see the UAE flag colours painted on the wingtips facing the fuselage.

3D flags on tail fins aren’t new, you can think of perhaps a handful, from British Airways to El Al or Aeroflot, even Delta’s previous incarnation had a fluttering texture on their tail fin. 3D tail fins are complex to create which means more time in the hangar, one of the reasons we don’t see depth of textures on liveries. But Emirates has decided that the increased complexity is worth the investment.

However the most impressive, and important development is in the dropping of the website URL. This is something I’ve personally been championing for the last few years. There’s little reason now to have website addresses, as people either google, use OTA’s or now most web browsers do the hard work to fill in the gaps. As such, advertising a URL is no longer necessary. Interestingly, the airline has decided to use the additional space to increase the billboard titles, by a whopping 32.5%. Not something that is really required on a double decker like an A380 where the lettering will reach approximately four metres in height.

The new livery will be gradually applied across the rest of the existing Emirates fleet with 24 aircraft, including 17 Boeing 777s, expected to sport the refreshed livery by the end of 2023.  All new Emirates aircraft, from the first Airbus A350 entering the fleet in August 2024 will be delivered in this new livery.

Emirates’ original livery in 1985 was designed by UK design company Negus & Negus. All of the airline’s subsequent aircraft colours were created by its in-house design team. Over the years, Emirates’ numerous colourful and eye-catching aircraft livery have included bespoke designs to drive sponsorship brand association, and for special occasions such as the UAE’s 50th Jubilee livery, and Expo 2020 Dubai.

The first aircraft to sport Emirates’ newest livery is A6-EOE, an Airbus A380, which has rolled out of Emirates Engineering this week after its makeover. Its first deployment will be to Munich on 17 March as flight EK51.

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Posted by:Jonny Clark

2 replies on “Emirates refreshes livery design with updated 3D paint effect

  1. I like the red wingtips, but the new tail design is a bit too busy for my taste. And I don’t see why Emirates felt the need to increase the size of the already large wordmark.

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