Established in 1974, Air Malta is the main international carrier for Malta, an archipelago on the Mediterranean sea south of Italy. Air Malta has a small fleet of 12 aircraft that travel to 50 destinations abroad. Last week, Air Malta introduced a new logo, livery, and tagline — The Airline of the Maltese Islands — created by the London office of Futurebrand.
The Maltese cross is at the heart of the new identity. For an airline, iconography is critical to create a unique and distinctive impression. With this in mind, there is more pride and prominence with how the cross is applied across the livery, and the shape features graphic patterns that are derived from and represent the true diversity of the Maltese Islands.
The traditional red and white colours of Malta have been infused with the colours blue, yellow, white gold, orange and green, which reflect the sun, sand and sea, the famously vibrant and colourful annual Festas, carnivals and fireworks displays and the colourful Luzzu fishing boats that can be seen in many harbours and bays around the islands.
— Futurebrand Blog Post
As the quote above states, the Maltese cross remains the focal point of the logo and has been stripped off its 1980s typography and holding shape, which made it feel like a military badge. The new logo goes to a couple of extremes in contrast to the old… (1) the typography is all lowercase and sans serif now, which results in a nice bouncy wordmark, although the “air” portion of it looks as if it’s almost another typeface where the “a” doesn’t have the same curvature on the lower right corner and the “i” has more of an OCR-A construction that doesn’t reflect the curvatures of the “l” and “t”. (2) The cross now sits in what could be interpreted as a wing and appears to always sit on the top right corner of wherever it appears. This is odd. I wish it just sat on a flat red background. The livery is a vast improvement; it feels like a sophisticated party full of energy up in the sky. This is a nice case where the main, existing identifier has been maintained in the redesign process and reenergized with the identity around it.