Divide and conquer has been a successful tactic for overcoming adversaries for centuries, and it is one that Virgin Altantic Airways must be wary of, as its brands appear to be becoming increasingly disparate (www.designweek.co.uk, 29 July).
Virgin Atlantic is certainly dividing opinion with its new livery [designed by Johnson Banks and steered by Circus]. From a design perspective, the deep purple font will admittedly dominate the fuselage of its aircraft.
Unfortunately, it loses much of the gravitas of the current navy italicised livery, due to the overwhelmingly simple font. Furthermore, the livery now overlaps with the windows, interfering with the brand name and rendering it less legible.
With respect to the industry, Virgin Atlantic now sits outside many of the major recent airline mergers and alliances such as Sky Team, Oneworld and Star Alliance, and seems to be growing more and more isolated.
Perhaps the company would have been better served by strengthening its position in a volatile industry by creating some much-needed clarity, and unity, around the different Virgin airline brands – Virgin America, Virgin Blue and V Australia, to name but a few?
Instead, Virgin Atlantic is moving further away from its sister airline companies with a livery that is both graphically and strategically naive.
Adrian Pring, Consultant, The Brand Union,by e-mail