EADT 737-800 v5.0 repaint

Jesco Freund

Beta Team
Users Local time
Today, 23:20
This time, I did an experimental repaint, not following the classic ACH livery scheme. The idea was to experiment with potential brand elements we could use in a future brand update. All elements (including the fonts used) are open source or even public domain, so we can use them in our liveries and even re-distribute them in a paint kit without copyright infringement.

The experimental livery is mixing three concepts:
  • A tail picture (conceptually similar to what Alaska Airlines is doing)
  • A window banderole (inspired by Small Planet Airlines (cf. https://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/Airlines-Europe-1/Airlines-Germany/Small-Planet-Airlines-Germany/i-F4vTc6g/A)
  • Belly & Tail accent color (as we use it in our classic livery, and many airlines do as well)

I know this is perhaps too much a mix of different approaches (at least it looks a bit crowded), but I take it as a proof of concept on which we could build & develop a new 2020 paint scheme for Air Child (besides, how do we spell it? Air-Child, or air-child, or Air Child, or air child, ...?)

Well, I leave it to you to judge and comment:

And yes, please do comment - this' a community driven airline, that can only evolve if the community stays alive!

As usual, the livery is available on my dropbox:

Blue Skies,

Barthe Hogenboom

Beta Team
Users Local time
Tomorrow, 00:20
Hi, Jesco.

First of all, that's a very good effort for a new paint scheme. My comments are not intended as criticism. ;) I know how hard it is to produce a new layout.

I was still going to reply to your last pm because Christopher was telling me a new logo is in the pipelines. It's going to be something that won't be interfering with the old one. It might even incorporate the old logo, I believe.

I think this paint needs something extra to keep a bit of the playfulness the old scheme had. It's a children's charity after all and we mainly simulate holiday flights.

I think the big logo on the tail looks a bit harsh/strict. But it's a powerful symbol. So I would move it to beneath the lettering under the cockpit windows and make it quite a bit smaller. That would make this symbol really work as a "We're an official charity" kind of thing.

Most RW airlines only use a small hint of colour on the winglets so I would remove about half of it and make the puppets stand straight. Or only use 1 maybe.

The handwriting font was always combined with the straight font to cheer the paint up a bit. So I think we should keep using it. The font on the engines should be smaller or more playful.

I like the window banderole but it must be tweaked a bit. So it interferes less with the windows. They did that in your example by making those letters really big. That would require a bit of experimenting. And I don't think it works with smaller planes.

I think not making the lines curl upwards towards the nose gives you a very big white nose. But slapping a black cone on it would probably make it look like a '50s plane. So that's still a bit of a puzzle...

I really like the greyish gold between the blue and white. That's a very good match.
Jesco Freund

Jesco Freund

Beta Team
Users Local time
Today, 23:20
Hi Barthe,

Thanks for your feedback; I really appreaciate you took the time to have a look at the different elements. My thoughts complementing what you already wrote:
  • If a new logo is in the pipe, I'd wait for that before doing any further attempts (as it would be the eternal component of any livery design, i. e. the one that I can't change) - thanks for the hint!
  • The silhouette on the tail is indeed a thing I'm quite uncertain about - it was a mere experiment; should we ever decide to go that direction (i. e. Alaska airlines approach), we'd have to vector our own decal for that purpose (I don't like the tune of adults not being on par with the children... doesn't fit with Unicef relation)
  • The "puppets" in the banderole are indeed not playful (despite of the colours); they look a bit like a mens' restroom sign or the German Ampelmännchen. Unfortunately we don't have a good vectorized version of the matchstick children used in our classic livery - they could be good to be placed in a longer chain (probably also below the windows, just "standing" on the belly colour).

One thought on playfulness (regarding waved belly line curling up to the tail): The current livery is very hard to paint at least for some popular tube liners in XP. The reason is simple: To increase the texture resolution, it has become quite common among aircraft developers to split the fuselage part into two textures. Even with guide net lines, it's extremely fiddly to avoid a visible rupture in the painted wave scheme - and if it's just off by 1px, you see it. The same goes for the nose section, where it's mostly try & error to align the overlap so the colour bands look as painted in one shot around the nose from left to right (or vice versa).

What I'm seeking here is a simplification of that scheme. I'm not too skilled with PhotoShop, so it always takes me several weekends to get a basic livery layout right (indeed I only managed to do so for two aircrafts so far). Therefore if we want broader livery availability, I think it would help to simplify the paint scheme in order it can be tailored to a specific aircraft model within a couple of hours, not days or even weeks.

Typography is another complicated topic, but more due to license restrictions. For our purpose, we need at least two, maybe three different fonts:
  • One for the logo itself (probably a sans serif type)
  • one for a slogan and/or the aircraft name (probably a handwriting type), and maybe
  • one for the aircraft registration (definitely sans serif, rather narrow type).
The fonts used in our original paintkit have one major drawback: They are not open source, so we're strictly speaking not allowed to redistribute them in a paint kit, and some of them only exist in formats not appropriate for recent operating systems and software.

Therefore what we'd need is a set of fonts fulfilling the above classification, and on top of that they need to be
  • open source or public domain (CC0), so we can redistribute them with our paint kit without copyright infringement
  • available in formats suitable for vector and pixel graphics programs (e. g. Inkscape, GravitDesigner, Illustrator, Sketch, Gimp, PhotoShop, ... you name it) - that means fonts only available as web fonts are ruled out!
  • complete in terms of characters (I found a superb font for the registration - but for the fact it didn't contain a dash sign, which is bad for non-US aircraft registrations usually prefixed with a country letter and a dash; e. g. C- or CF- for Canada, F- for France, etc.). For aircraft names, also rather special domestic characters (accented letters, umlauts etc.) are absolutely needed.
  • The glyphs must be of really high quality (vector-drawn with cleaned curves and good hinting properties) - for some purposes (i. e. high resolution 4k liveries), we have to use quite big font sizes. If the glyphs are poorly developed (not so unusual among open source fonts), they simply look ugly and rugged if scaled to something like 150pt.

Last but not least, so far I used the existing colour scheme (except for the grey colour, which I stole from Air Berlin). AFAIK, we only have a set of three colours defined currently (light blue, dark blue, and orange). From my point of view, it wouldn't hurt to define a fully-fledged five colours scheme, complementing the existing colours e. g. with a dark grey and fine tune the hex codes for the existing CI colours. If you'd like to experiment with that, I can recommend https://color.adobe.com/ - it's a great tool for playing with colours.

-- end of brain dump :wink:

Looking forward to the new logo and some further ideas concerning colours, typography, elements, ... let's play with those until we're all happy!

Blue Skies
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