Rebranding a Chinese Airline


HNA - Hainan Airlines

Our brief was to develop the Hainan Airlines brand from a chinese airline with high quality customer service with a small global presence to a cohesive and modern international brand with a 5 star best in class experience.

One of our aims was to build a more consistent brand identity with a seamless passenger journey. We also wanted to create a ‘wow’ factor - something special, unique, memorable and beyond expectations of the passenger and client.

Along with communciation understanding the culture of China and Hainan was key to this project. It was very important for us to communicate our process of working to a client with very limited experience of design.

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Pitch Stage

Domestic Competition

Hainan is the only Chinese 5 star carrier; superior custom products would better convey this status. Hainan already ‘owns red’ making Hainan distinctive within the Chinese Airline market; there is an opportunity to expand this for a more sophisticated experience.

International 5 star Benchmark

Custom products, luxury finishes and brand signatures throughout all aspects of the brand experience communicate the brand to the world ensuring it is memorable and distinctive.

Representing the Brand Values of Hainan Airlines

Capturing these as physical details provides depth and consistency to the brand, creating an experience which is totally unique and could only be Hainan Airlines.

A Taste of Hainan Culture

The development of details, colours, materials and finishes provides an opportunity to showcase Hainan, China’s tropical island to the world. Our process will typically involve an immersion phase.

Concept 1 - Classic Oriental

An Evolution - Adding contrast and richness to the existing palette

Precious Application - Symbolism as high quality details

Harmonious Patterns - CMF and detail development to complement the circular symbols

Concept 2 - Natural Charm

Patterns inspired by Chinese icons. Silk and movement - fabric items. Bamboo - architectural elements. Auspicious clouds - for details

Colours Always a red detail. A highlight palette inspired by vibrancy of Hainan

A connection with nature.. forms the neutral base palette for colours pattern and texture

Concept 3 - Modern Vitality

Expanded Colour Palette - Including a gradient of tones for secondary palette

Inspired by Chinese Silk - The play of light, highlights, reflections

Contemporary Craftsmanship - Textures, patterns and detail inspired by craftsmanship of knots, paper cutting / folding. Potential for ‘crafted’ signature items

Common Design Language Stage

Brand Story

Brand Identity

Inspired by soft fluid forms of the ‘fly beyond’ key elements.

Evolving the colour palette

Economy Class

Premium Economy

Business Class

Luggage Tags


Route 2

Route 3


Route 2

Route 3

Development Stage


Business Class

Economy Class

For this design for Beijing Terminal 1 I used the existing building architecture and placed in all the relevant pieces I had created previously; from the check-in desks to brand panels and bag measuring devices.

Specification Stage

Economy & Premium Economy Items

An overview of the types of 2D and 3D items I designed (and specified for manufacture) for Economy and Premium Economy.

Business Class Items

An overview of the types of 2D and 3D items I designed (and specified for manufacture) for Business Class.


The 'Actual Process' shown on the right is probably quite forgiving - the client was very demanding in terms of asking for options.

Press Launch

All photo's are owned by PriestmanGoode.

Hai Vision Magazine - Sept 2017

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