Saturday, 31 January 2015
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Fiji Airways works with local artist on new branding

Fijian airline Air Pacific is set to rebrand as Fiji Airways, with the new identity created by a local artist and based on traditional Masi artwork.

The new Fiji Airways identity

The new Fiji Airways identity

The new Fiji Airways branding is set to launch next year and will see a revival of the Fiji Airways name, which was last used in 1951.

The airline worked with Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matmosi to develop the Masi symbol for the new identity.

Masi art is created on fibrous cloth made from the inner bark of the Masi tree and features finely stencilled geometric motifs (masikesa). These are printed from the outer edges of the cloth into its centre.

Matmosi created a special Masi for Fiji Airways, which features a series of specially designed motifs ‘that carry individual meanings about the people of Fiji, their relationship with the stunning natural beauty of the islands and the country’s national airline.’

Makereta Matmosi with her Fiji Airways Masi design

Makereta Matmosi with her Fiji Airways Masi design

This builds towards the ‘Teteva’ at the centre of the Masi, which is used on the Fiji Airways identity.

This features crosses at the four corners to represent connection, as well as petals in the inner circle to represent community.

Matemosi says, ‘What I’ve created is something entirely different, which has never been seen in any of the Masi designs in Fiji.’

The Teteva symbol

The Teteva symbol

Air Pacific chief executive Dave Pflieger says, ‘When we started this process a little over a year ago, our goal was to create a new symbol that was distinctly Fijian and one that would stand out even at the most crowded international airport.

‘With a tall order like this, we knew we could not take the usual creative development route and successfully meet our new brandmark’s requirements. So we rejected the normal corporate route and instead asked a highly respected local Fijian artisan to help create our new symbol.’

Air Pacific says it also worked with Futurebrand Australia on the project.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Anyone around! Hey !... branding experts to develop a constructive critic over this brand identity.
    Does an airline can have the budget to hire branding professional to guide the job (even if it is originated from a talented local artist) ?
    Ornament is decorative.
    Identity-logo is communicative.
    No ? or I am getting stupid.
    Brown and digital Oh lalala !
    Pointy tiny lettering and digital - double Oh lalala.. what else ?
    humm ...Well Home-made though.

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  • Agree with anonimus above. It seems that there is a confusing time in the design industry, it looks nice? Ok then. Corporate identity does still exist? Fine arts, decorative arts..., mixed media arts, is it branding? All the steps of creating an effective communicative identity are been followed? I think Fiji, for their interest, should have gone to a professional studio, iven reccomend the local artist and saying that they liked that logo style, then let them do their job.

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  • @Joe

    Thank you Joe...feel less alone ;-)
    Branding incorporate all the cultural institution you mention above. And we (the creative) re-imagine the whole thing in an ever -never ending process.

    What quality of design Fiji can produce locally today? (not talking about Handicraft creations).

    WE can't (we lucky westerners creative, spoiled and heavily nurtured with branding culture andknwo how) can't expect from Fiji to be able to produce topnotch fully astute performant design articulate solution (and I wish they could). Fiji got surely fantastic talents, but probably those talendted Fijians designers are working by now in AU,NZ etc..

    So what quality design Fiji can produce locally? difficult to evaluate?

    There a fantastic ethnic and cultural heritage
    (a superpool to find some creative lines) but this is not an excuse to make the national airline looking like an Handicraft Tourist shop.
    In doing so they have reduced their chance to really offer a great Fijian experience in the inside (where the brand is at his best exposure) Livery is just an "opus".

    I feel all of this is the result of wrong targetted marketing thinking, ill informed people how the brand should look, talk and act (management) probably think the decor will do the job... The strategical intentions were logical and coherent - make the airlines look&feel Fijian - the application is totally out of the frame (for me).
    For example, they could have done that ethnic style more smartly...if they would have gone the normal way. Except the manner they have managed the whole project in a manner that no one agency could have even a chance to propose (even "on spec") something - Is that was done purposely ????

    It is a big brand miss judgment and design power under consideration (arrogance?)
    We brand designers ALL know that this choice will have financial reverberation over the profits of the company...It is a tiny airline they will be not able to change again the badge a second time i the near future... so once the Fijian proundness (that I can understand and share after their years of colonialism and western dominance) will have been vented away.. the fierce aviation business reality will have the last word.

    By any means maybe you only gets the design you deserve ?...

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  • i would say its the best designed in the world thank you

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  • hm... it would appear that the critics above missed the last line of this article/press release = "Air Pacific says it also worked with Futurebrand Australia on the project."

    In other words, there was indeed the "traditional" route, i.e., the hand of a professional branding agency involved, and perhaps this article should be criticised for not giving us more insight into the Fiji Airways branding process and a full array of working papers to evaluate.

    Sure, it's your prerogative (as designers are wont) to debate the aesthetics and execution of the logo, but it is unfair to dismiss this new logo are a mere decorative device, simply because the illustrator involved is getting more credit than the branding agency.

    As for this comment "What quality of design Fiji can produce locally today? (not talking about Handicraft creations)." to assume that local artisans are incapable of collaborating on design projects is outrageous and short-sighted. Please don't share these views with your clients if you hope to stay in business!!

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  • Hi XCD,

    We should point out that Air Pacific only recently named Futurebrand Australia as having worked on this project. They originally told us: 'We worked with a couple of internationally renowned firms to assist a local Fijian artist design the new branding for Fiji Airways. We will announce who they are at our next milestone, which is on October 10 (Fiji Day), where we will reveal the livery and interior designs of our incoming brand new A330s.'

  • Hi Editor: Too bad many readers did not read the post as the press release it was meant to be.

    Given the professional audience this 'zine attracts, maybe this article was (incomplete and) posted too soon? Waiting after Oct 10 for the info you mention in the comment above might have been more meaningful...

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  • This overall positive move on the part of Air Pacific/Fiji Airways has turned sour as they have applied to trademark not merely the piece of barkcloth they bought from the Fijian village woman, but the motifs themselves. Far from the company's blurb that claims she "developed" the range of motifs, they are without exception traditional motifs used for millennia in Fiji and in many cases elsewhere in the Pacific (Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Is.) by traditional craftswomen. The application is, understandably, being fiercely opposed within Fiji (go to Facebook or Google). If it succeeds, the implications for traditional artists everywhere are profound. Sepik masks trademarked by Balinese or Philippines companies that currently make knock-offs?

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