BY Kai-Chin Shih / 24 MARCH 2014/ TOKYOJAPAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com
Transasia Airways’s new start-up low cost airline, V Air (Chinese: 威航), released its logo design on 23 March 2014. The new logo consists of the company’s English & Chinese name along with the “V Bear”, a Formosan Black Bear putting up V-signs. V Air is planning on starting operations as soon as September 2014, making it the first LCC in Taiwan.
The Chinese name of the airline, 威航, means “mighty airline”. However, instead of translating, the airline chose to use “V” as the English name of the company. The purpose of using “V” is for every customer to have their own definition of what the airline is. The airline gave a series of interpretations such as vacation, victory, Venus, valuable, VIP, vision, and voyage. Also, “V Air” is an extremely simple name and is rather easy to memorize. >talkairlines sees the idea behind the company name as an extremely creative and smart one.
The Formosan Black Bear, endemic to Taiwan, was chosen to represent V Air. The distinctive V-shaped mark and the nativeness of the bear makes it the perfect choice for V Air’s logo. The logo designer made the bear put up V-signs, further strengthening “V” in consumer’s minds.
According to V Air’s official brand video and the recent press conference, there appears to be two liveries for the airline. Currently, there is no information on the usage of either liveries. There is a possibility of the airline allowing fans of their social network sites to vote on which livery they favor more. >talkairlines also believes in the possibility of both liveries being applied. However, in this case, it is not yet clear which one is the special livery and which one will be applied on to other planes.
>talkairlines loves the new logo. Simplistic, sharp, and cute. However, the liveries based on the logo appear to be rather plain and boring in our opinion. White is still the most used color in both liveries. The livery with the bear on the tail (Livery 1) reminds us of the livery of Russian carrier UT Air, while the livery with the blue tail (Livery 2) looks too reserved and conservative. We don’t see the effort of the airline in making a eye-catching livery. In our opinion, all they did was put the logo on the plane. Blue and black are not colors that catch one’s attention, that’s why most airlines choose to incorporate red while using those two colors. We suggest V Air try adding some warm colors in to the existing liveries, or simply design a new one using blue throughout the plane along with a couple of those cute bears instead of 1 on each side. Do keep the bear on the tail though, it is where it belongs. It will be awesome to see a bunch of V Air planes parked at the airport with bears on all of their tails!
Also lacking in the liveries and the branding is the clear representation of Taiwan. Although the Formosan Black Bear is (arguably) the “Animal of Taiwan”, >talkairlines believes that most people will not be able to link it to the island at first glance. On the opposite hand, Tigerair Taiwan, China Airlines and Tigerair’s planned LCC, has stated that the words “Taiwan” will be painted on each and every plane. When consumers that actually care about being on a Taiwanese LCC are comparing both airlines, they may choose to fly Tigerair Taiwan simply because it is the only airline that has a name that clearly suggests its Taiwanese origin, even though it is partially foreign. The CEO of Transasia Airways has stated that the branding of V Air is to show consumers that V Air is the only “pure-Taiwanese” airline, proving how essential being Taiwanese is to V Air. In this case, >talkairlines suggests V Air put more Taiwanese elements into their branding since the current one doesn’t seem to have strong links to Taiwan despite the logo being a native animal. Even Chinese characters on the plane may help since it will give Taiwanese/ Chinese customers a feeling of flying on their national/ regional airline.
2014 is going to be an extremely exciting year in Taiwanese aviation as the first 2 LCCs of the nation, V Air and Tigerair Taiwan, take to the skies. It will be interesting to see whether local consumers favor a more Taiwanese branding (V Air) or a more international branding (Tigerair Taiwan). >talkairlines look forward to V Air releasing more details on its operations such as uniform designs and cabin interiors.