284. The Stork Delivers a New Logo & Livery. 
Jan 28, 2010 at 08:05AM
jj

Image from JetPhotos.netToday, Biman Bangladesh Airlines is announcing a new logo, livery and personality for their airline based in Dhaka. The iconic identity (at least in the region) had featured a stylized white stork (balaka) flying across a red circle representing the sun, and was designed by the late Bangladeshi painter Quamrul Hassan. Apparently Hassan was a political artist (hard not to be political in certain areas at certain times) who took folk art and made it more relevant to a modern audience. As rumors about the new logo and livery started to emerge there were some who felt that changing it, was being disrespectful to the artist.

Here's the Old Hassan-drawn Identity (LOVE that stork):

And The Old Livery, looking rather rickety in this pic:

The new logo features the country's name more prominently than Biman, which is fitting since it's the Bengal national carrier, the government is the airline's 'caretaker'. You can use your imagination to figure out what that really means. (We have a caretaker-airline relationship in Dubai with Emirates too.) But this is a big change from the previous identities where Biman was clearly more important. The new typeface is a modern sans that has a rather squared personality. Each character squares up around the edges and concludes on some interesting terminals. (Font speak not airport of course.) Set in a dark pine green it's not a bad logotype if a bit rough, and feels at home of the livery.

The new Logo (No real close-ups on the stork yet):

Speaking of home, the new stork flies comfortably between the ascenders of the b and d respectively, and no matter what side of the plane it's on - is always facing forward. I'm glad to see the basics were thought about here. The stork is a more literal interpretation than the old, and although is a decent-enough icon seems to have a lot less personality than Hassan's bird. 

With any national airline, colors are clearly important. The official colors of Bangladesh are this same bottle green complemented by red; the flag, a green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh. In the new logo red is the color that Biman is now set, which is under the national type. The new identity makes use of these colors in a way that is not overwhelming, which is not easy to do with such a bold color palette.

The livery is mostly white and having worked on an airline account for a few years, this can help save a lot of cost when a plane is sitting on a hot tarmac during the summer months. On this white canvas is the bottle green, the red and a lighter, almost sea foam green. The tail of the plane showcases a cropped new stork in the sea foam and is rather handsome actually but the plane still feels a bit blank particularly with the engines and cockpit. I'm not sure that I love how the lines of the different graphics flow around the fuselage and more could have been done here to imbue some motion to the look. The flow of the lines just isn't quite right.

The New Livery, Artwork Followed by Actual:

Having just learned more history about the artist of the previous logo and the country itself, it's hard to not feel a bit nostalgic here. Especially for the stylized balaka. I think the designers could have incorporated a slightly updated bird with the new colors and type and it would have been fine. But I understand the need for the governm...er...airline to make a change, given that the brand has been hampered by persistent flight delays and image problems. A new look doesn't fix everything, but it's a start. And the design comes along with ten new Boeings that may help alleviate the larger problems. One place some solid design work would help the company is on their website. It doesn't exactly convey professionalism and safety now does it? One step at a time, I suppose.

You can read more about the new identity and livery here.

Update on May 4, 2010 at 03:05PM by Registered Commenterjj

Wow. Just announced today: the government of Bangladesh has reversed their position and have denied the revised look of the airline. Although now a publically traded company and although the government actively helped unveil the new look about four months ago, Biman Bangladesh Airlines is now being ordered to reverse their progress and go back to the original livery. This is both a study of government and design so read the article from The New Nation here.

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