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Birds of a Feather

2nd November 2009

During a lunchtime walk along Westbourne Grove last week I noticed an identity on the side of a taxi that reminded me of something similar we produced at Interstate. The Egyptair logo in question (launched as part of a 2008 rebrand) had a lot in common with a marque we developed for Dubai-based DXB Sports in 2007.

On my return to the studio I Googled my sighting and discovered the commonalities were far deeper and intriguing than originally met the eye.

The Egyptair identity and the marque we created for DXB Sports both feature dynamic falcon heads

A stylized Falcon’s head provides the inspiration for the two identities and in both cases for reasons of heritage, history and national pride. The Egyptair logo is a stylized rendering of Horus, the sky deity in ancient Egyptian mythology, usually depicted as a falcon or a man with the head of a falcon. Horus was adopted by the airline as its logo because of its ancient symbolism as a “winged god of the sun”. Likewise, we used the Falcon for DXB because of it’s association with the Emirate of Dubai. Falconry is a massive sport in Dubai and the Middle East as a whole, it is the sport of Royalty and therefore is both respected and recognised, providing the basis for an iconic national and international brand.

The Egyptair identity features Horus, one of the oldest and most significant of the deities in the Ancient Egyptian religion

The original sketch and moodboard images that inspired the DXB identity

The ‘DXB Falcon’ was rendered in a more abstract and dynamic style to echo an underlying theme of a ‘convergence of international sporting excellence’ centered in Dubai. The marque also took inspiration from the particular markings and feathers of the head of a prairie falcon and the colour palette was dictated by the proportions of red and white that constitute Dubai’s flag. These references lend the marque authority, a keen sense of direction and the highest levels of precision.

In both cases the history and prestige of this famous bird has lent itself to an effective brand identity. To whoever was responsible for the Egyptair rebrand all I have to say is “great minds think alike”!

The final DXB identity

Jonathan Published by Jonathan 2nd November 2009