With all the excitement of the new Boeing 777X orders announced at the Dubai Airshow, one might have missed the fact that the aircraft is showing off a new color for the Boeing livery. Is it red? Maroon? No, it is a very rich burgundy.
To date, we have seen a rainbow of colors showing up on new Boeing aircraft and the choice of burgundy is no accident.
I had the opportunity to speak with Rob Pollack, vice president Advertising, Brand and Market Positioning with Boeing to try answer why burgundy was to become the official color for the 777X.
The choice of burgundy was not made overnight. Boeing had to complete quite a bit of research before deciding on their new color. Different colors can have different meanings, and Boeing did not want to end up insulting a particular culture or airline based on a wrong choice.
Believe it or not, there has been quite a bit of work done on seeing what feelings and words that people relate with colors. Boeing found some key thoughts connected to the color burgundy, which they wanted passengers and airline customers to associate with the plane. Those words are vigor, elegance, refinement, high-end, richness, leadership, and maturity. Think of the color as a fine wine, in literal color and embodiment.
I also cannot help but think about a key quote from Anchorman Ron Burgundy, “I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” I think the color choice definitely stays classy.
Boeing’s marketing team tried quite a few different samples by spraying a 6″ x 12″ test panel, taking it outside to view the color, and then tweaking it to their final liking. They finally settled on the color seen on the 777X mock-ups today.
At this time, Boeing doesn’t have an official name for the burgundy (did someone say, “naming contest?”). Some have already dubbed it, “Big Burgundy,” but that just doesn’t seem classy enough to me.
Although Boeing’s official color is blue, this livery is not the first variation of their color roots. Let’s take a look at the other offerings from the Boeing livery rainbow family:
The first time we saw the new Boeing livery was with the first 787-8 Dreamliner ZA001. Many have felt it has been one of the best liveries every designed and it has received quite a bit of positive feedback. Although the most recently livery on ZA003 was updated a tad, most people wouldn’t be able to notice.
The second version was displayed on the 747-8I and was a mixture of reds and oranges. The new design was called the Sunrise livery and Boeing designed it as a salute to potential Asian customers. Unfortunately, the color might not end up being enough for the plane.
The obvious change was the use of orange, but Boeing also put a large “8” on the tail. This added feature was used in future Boeing liveries, including the 787-9 Dreamliner.
At first, I did not notice that the 737 MAX had a different livery than the original Dreamliner. However, after closer inspection, one can see the use of more teals and a bit into the green family on this livery. The difference is not as obvious as the bold orange or burgundy, but it is a subtle change.
I am still not a fan of the name “MAX,” but I have to say that I do like the blue-green family of colors and love this color combination.
Then, of course, we are back to the red-family with the new 777X. I really like the burgundy and cannot wait to see what it will look like in person. Historically, Boeing has been a pretty conservative company and I get a kick out of the fact that they are being a bit creative by putting the same livery on all their new aircraft, but spicing it up with different colors.
We still have quite a bit of time before we get to see the new 777X in person, but luckily Boeing has some ways for you to connect with the aircraft today. If you want to experience the new 777X in ways not seen before, be sure to check out Boeing’s interactive page on the aircraft. This gallery view is unique and was actually done locally at the Seattle Art Museum.
If that is not enough for you, also be sure to check out more mock up photos of the 777X on Boeing’s NewAirplane.com site.
ADDITIONAL BOEING 777X LIVERY PHOTOS