Colorful striped design – Condor reinvents itself – design diary

Condor gets a new brand identity. A striking striped design becomes the hallmark of the holiday airline. The machines belonging to the fleet will also have to be repainted in the coming years and get colorful “feel good” stripes.

Background: The airline Condor was founded in 1955. In connection with liquidity problems from the Thomas Cook Group, Condor’s parent company until 2019, a spin-off occurred. Asset Manager Attestor has been the majority shareholder in Condor since July 2021. In the fall of 2021, Condor announced that it would acquire 16 Airbus A330 Neos to tackle the fleet renewal that had been pursued for some time.

As the company explains in the recently released press release on the redesign, Condor has undergone a change in the last two and a half years: from being a subsidiary of a vertically integrated travel group to an independent airline, “which proudly looks back on its history and tradition, and at the same time is heading into the future begins “. And now they want to express this change with a different visual appearance. The entire brand identity including logo, colors and style is renewed.

Excerpt from the press release

Condor is on vacation. And the holiday is striped. Germany’s most popular holiday airline today presents its new brand image: Condor will in future carry stripes in five colors. Inspired by umbrellas, beach towels and beach chairs, Condor is evolving into an unmistakable and unique holiday airline. “Our new brand is stripes, our logo stands for our origins and the colors for diversity,” says Ralf Teckentrup, CEO of Condor.

Condor is convinced that the new stripe design is unique and unmistakable. Inspiration was taken from the design of holiday essentials like umbrellas, beach towels and beach chairs that many people associate with lightness, freedom, sea breeze and sunshine, Condor says.

The yellow and gray color scheme that Condor has been using for decades is being completely renewed. In the future, the holiday airline will be colorful. The variety of colors, consisting of “Sunshine” (yellow), “Passion” (red), “Sea” (blue), “Island” (green) and “Beach” (beige), is symbolic of the diversity of Cultures and regions of the world and for the diversity of the destinations served by Condor.

Condor’s new brand claim is: “Passion is our compass”.

Condor Livery – before and after, image source: Condor, image montage: dt

The redesign of the brand’s image and the fleet is carried out gradually and with a focus on sustainability. Nothing in the old design (cups, rugs and cutlery) is thrown out, everything is used up first. About 80 percent of the fleet will be repainted by 2024. All materials such as boarding passes, ID cards and airport signage will also get the new design.

With on board is – again – it Helvetica. Because the “condor” word tag, which is only in lower case, is now in Helvetica set. For your information: From the mid-1960s, the holiday airline Condors’ machines were painted exactly as the team at HfG Ulm around the designer Otl Aicher had originally intended for the then Condor parent company Lufthansa in 1962 (yellow tail, blue vertical stripes, Helveticaletters, see photo Condor Vickers Viscount).

The concept and creation of the new Condor brand identity was created in collaboration with the agency Vision Alphabet (Berlin).

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“Like ice in sunshine” and Langnese says hello. The 80s cult celebrates its temporary climax and blows into the air. Calling the new design bold would be an understatement. Completely insane and crazy, this design! Planes that look like lollipops. Is it kitsch? Or is it great art of form? At first you might think of an April Fool’s joke (“Citroën becomes Zitrön”). But no, they’re serious about Condor.

It is actually inconceivable that a traditional German airline would buy such a flashy, trendy stripe design. Apart from the economic aspect. Because a colored finish is heavier. A colorful aircraft uses more fuel than an aircraft painted in the same white color, which is why many airlines have been using colors sparingly for some time now.

For the time being, I hold back with a conclusion. First, dt readers are in demand. You are of course also very welcome to comment!

One more note: The Prime Minister published by Condor says: “Condor’s signet, the condor in a circle, goes back to one of the most influential German designers, Otl Aicher.”
Hmmm … that leaves me stunned. Remember that the statement can not be equated 1: 1 with the fact that Aicher designed the Condor sign. Aicher has it as far as I know neither. It would at least be new to me. There may be passionate Aicher fans and design historians among dt readers who can specifically mention how Condor’s visual appearance was influenced by the Lufthansa design studio (“Project 1400”) developed by the HfG team in Ulm or has been determined. My assumption is that the specification from the Condor shareholder Lufthansa at the time could have been that the painting of the Condor aircraft should have been based very closely on the visual appearance developed by the HfG team in Ulm. From 1962, for the first time in Lufthansa’s history, there were very detailed design specifications. Therefore, I assume that the design could be done internally at Condor. In my opinion, the reference to Otl Aicher by name, as formulated in Condor’s Prime Minister, is misleading. Because the statement suggests that Aicher personally designed the Condor sign. However, I have no relevant evidence for this.

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