Most Qatari corporate identities are particularly badly designed. If you want to see a sample of those just watch a few Aljazeera programs. They all seem to be sponsored by this or that large Qatari company. As a relatively young country, Qatar still seems to be infatuated with itself. Companies have names like Qa-something (Qafco). There is an overuse of the flag color (which is some sort of maroon/reddish brown/violet) and its zigzag motif. And despite the impressive TV advertising, the Asian games 2006 in Qatar have a pretty lame running stick man logo.
All of the above design attributes are present in the current identity of Qatar Airways. The logo of the airline uses the head of an oryx gazelle as a motif, stuck on a round background of zigzags which resembles the AT&T logo. For sure, the identity uses maroon as its primary color.
The airline advertises heavily internationally. Qatar is a very much a Dubai wannabe (who in the Arab world isn’t one might ask) and its national carrier plays a key promotional role for the peninsula country.
Today, Qatar Airlines, revealed its new visual identity and livery at the ITB travel fair in Berlin. Gone from the name is ‘Airways’. The airline will simply be called ‘Qatar’. And the ‘AT&T’ background has been toned down (traces of it are still there in grey). The word ‘Qatar’ is rendered, using a quite bland font, in huge letters on the livery. The whole thing somehow looks ‘corporate American’ to me and lacks flair and distinctiveness. The Arabic name of the airline ‘Al Qataria’ is rendered in a much smaller, light grey font is is barely noticeable on the plane. Maybe this is a conscious decision to appeal to globalized audiences to whom the presence of the Arab script in a more noticeable manner might be confusing (although Emirates never seems to have turned stylized Arabic script into a design differentiator in its logo, designed in the mid 1980s).
The oryx on the plane’s tail might be recognizable to those who know the old logo. But I suspect that newcomers to the brand might wonder about the ‘squiggly’ motif.
All in all, the new visual identity seems like a small improvement. Dropping the word airways and making the Qatar name more legible on the livery are good ideas, but implemented in an unimaginative manner.
If you want to see really inferior identity design for an airlines have a look at what Abu Dhabi’s Ettihad Airways or Oman Air look like!
Read these related posts on 360east:
- Shots form Doha..
- View from office, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar’s amazing 35 km cooled cycling path!
- Asia comes together in Qatar, while Lebanon falls apart
- Impressive names (like Bruce Mau) at the upcoming Tasmeem Doha design conference
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