Established in 1951, Air Pacific is the national carrier airline of Fiji with a small but busy fleet of six airplanes covering over 400 flights a week to almost 15 cities in 10 countries around the world. Earlier this year, Air Pacific announced that it would be changing its name to Fiji Airways, the name under which it was originally founded and shortly known as, and this past weekend it unveiled its new logo, featuring an icon designed by local Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matemosi. The renamed airline will officially take over in early 2013 while the livery design, and reportedly the design firm involved, will be revealed on October 10, Fiji Day.
To create this distinctively Fijian brandmark, the airline engaged celebrated local Fijian Masi artist Makereta Matemosi to create a unique Masi symbol for ‘Fiji Airways’. The new Masi symbol features a series of specially designed motifs that carry individual meanings about the people of Fiji, their relationship with the stunning natural beauty of their islands and the country’s national airline. All the motifs in the new symbol build towards the core of the Masi which features the largest and most important motif — called the Teteva.
— Press Release
The Teteva is the centrepiece of our Masi, and this Teteva will be the symbol which will represent Fiji and ‘Fiji Airways’ around the world. Created by Makereta, the big circle has four crosses at four corners which indicate interconnection, just as ‘Fiji Airways’ connects people to the Fiji Islands. The inner circle reflects the spiritual values of the Fijian people — denoting the culture of caring and looking after each other as a community, just as the airline cares about its nation and strives to improve the quality of life for its people. The middle section of the Masi with sixteen petal shapes reflects people working hand-in-hand to create a stronger nation, just as the men and women of Fiji Airways work as a team to create a stronger airline.
The smaller circle inside reflects the Fijians’ friendly and welcoming nature to all visitors, and the airline’s role as Fiji’s proud ambassador to the world. Finally, the innermost part of the Teteva is the diamond, which is the most important part as it represents the love that the airline has for Fiji and all the customers it is privileged to serve.
— Press Release
The Air Pacific identity is a breath of stale air with its oversize, italic, tight-as-airline-seats tracking, and corporate blue color — the tail icon being its only attractive element. So it’s nice to not only see it removed from the air but be replaced by something so authentic and interesting. The new logo feels like no other airline identity, from the main brown color to the supporting orange and cream colors (as seen in the t-shirt photos below) to the “uneven” look of the icon to the unconventional wordmark. The main icon is lovely, it has a great uneven texture that I applaud the designers for not turning it into a geometric symmetric form when digitizing it. It’s funny how different the rationalization sounds when it comes from a very authentic artist as opposed to when it’s written by some PR hack — but, let’s not be fooled, it’s all the same BS, it’s just that this one is delivered with more flair. Regardless, and again, it’s a fantastic, unique icon. The “FIJI” wordmark is also interesting and steps out of the airline comfort zone with some adventurous-looking typography — what appears to be a modified version of Ribbon. Overall, this looks like the start of a great identity and I look forward to seeing the livery and what else rolls out.