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A closer look at the new JetBlue Streamers tail for the A321LR

If there’s one airline that takes pride in livery design, it’s JetBlue. Yes, it’s true that they do have one of the simplest airline liveries in the skies right now. However, they have an entire series of beautiful tail designs distributed across their entire fleet of aircraft. The new Streamers tail is one of them.

Officially announced on September 22, 2020, the new Streamers tail continues on with the usual JetBlue traditions. It’s blue. It features abstract shapes. And of course, it’s beautiful.

A brief summary of the new JetBlue Streamers tail design

The all new JetBlue streamers tail design was created specifically for their fleet of A321LR aircraft. These aircraft are significant for the JetBlue fleet. They will have the range to reach Europe from the East Coast of the United States, which is something that JetBlue hasn’t been capable of before.

Therefore, creating a new livery design to celebrate this accomplishment seemed very much appropriate.

JetBlue will launch service from New York and Boston to London in late 2021. They’ve got some stiff competition to face, and it’s likely to be a long and drawn out battle.

etBlue A321LR wearing the new Streamers tail design

A JetBlue A321LR wearing the new Streamers tail design. Looks great, but I think they should’ve went big and covered the entire fuselage…

However, JetBlue has very strong brand recognition here in the United States. The announcement of the streamers tail design it’s just another way to help drum up even more excitement from an already exciting announcement.

Designed to mimic the waves of the ocean and the jetstream, the Streamers tail is the perfect visual design for a fleet of aircraft that will be doing battle against the legacy carriers across the North Atlantic.

How many aircraft will wear this livery?

Just like all JetBlue tail designs, the Streamers design will be limited to a certain number of aircraft. JetBlue will apply this design to all 13 of its incoming A321LR‘s. No other aircraft types will be getting it.

JetBlue a321lr rear 3/4 view

This is a 3D model that I created showing the tail design on the A321LR. Oh, and yeah. I like shiny aircraft, ok?

On a personal note, I think that this is genius marketing. JetBlue has a very diverse fleet of aircraft configured for specific configurations, and for AvGeeks like me, it’s fun and interesting to be able to identify what the purpose of an aircraft is just by looking at the tail design.

For example, the Mint-configured fleet has their own tail design. When you see one of those birds parked at your gate (and you’re holding a boarding pass for a seat in rows 1 through 4), you’re in for a really good flight.

JetBlue Airbus A321LR

That’s a good lookin’ bird, ain’t it?

Since the streamers tail will be limited to a very specific subset of aircraft, it’s going to be a real treat for airline enthusiasts and spotters to see them out in the wild.

What’s so special about the Streamers tail?

The fact that JetBlue specifically created a tail design which mimicked the purpose of the aircraft which will be wearing it is interesting to me. They’ve never done that before, and it suggests some interesting things possibly coming in the future.

Will the Mint fleet get an all new tail design which hints to the premium service? Only time will tell, but the Streamers tail is a step in the right direction.

JetBlue streamers tail comparison

The new Streamers tail compared to the existing Mint and Tartan designs.

For the record, I had no idea what JetBlue was going to use this tail design for the first time that I saw it. My first thought was ocean waves, even though I had no idea that this was the design chosen for their fleet of transatlantic aircraft. The designers did an amazing job of blending abstract concepts with the real world.

How was this livery created?

Good question! That was exactly what I was thinking as I was sitting at my desk trying to replicate the design over top of my Airbus A321LR side view template. As a matter fact, here’s a video time lapse of that experience:

Even though the way that I created it was by tracing the shapes and overlapping them with one another, I suspect that the way that the JetBlue marketing team did it was vastly different.

From what I can tell, it looks as if they overlapped a series of multicolored / transparent wave patterns on top of one another. Then, it was just a matter of subtracting portions in a random way that looked good on an A321LR tail. It’s really hard to explain in words how that works. For those familiar with vector illustration drawing programs such as Adobe illustrator, it probably makes a lot more sense.

Full color palette of the new Streamers livery

I have yet to see an official press release from JetBlue regarding the official color palette of the streamers livery, but it wasn’t all that difficult to estimate the exact colors (both RGB and Hex) they used for this design:

  • Light Blue #1: #8DCBEB (R=140, G=202, B=233)
  • Light Blue #2: #0290C6 (R=2, G=144, B=198)
  • Medium Blue: #0256A2 (R=2, G=86, B=162)
  • Dark Blue: #001E66 (R=0, G=31, B=102)

As I noted earlier, the streamers tail is traditionally JetBlue. As a matter fact, it’s all JetBlue. What I mean by this is that the primary color is blue, which is typical of how they do their tail designs. Interestingly enough, this is one of the only tail designs they have which does not feature any other accent colors.

color palette for the Streamers tail design

Full color palette for the Streamers tail design

Most of JetBlue’s tail designs feature small splashes of accent colors here and there, which the Streamers tail does not.

Pros and cons of this design

As a designer, it’s really hard for me not to inject my own opinion on every new thing that I see. After all, it’s super easy to be a critic and it was no different when seeing this tail design for the very first time. Here are my specific thoughts on it – both good and bad:

Pros

  • It’s stunningly beautiful, and adds a really nice focal point to an otherwise bland livery design.
  • It’s a design with meaning. Creating an ocean and wind themed livery for a fleet of transatlantic aircraft was genius in my opinion.
  • As with all the other JetBlue tail designs, this will no doubt bring attention to their brand and help get people excited. Some may argue that airline liveries don’t do anything in regards to get people talking, but I disagree. I mean, when is the last time you heard anyone talk excitedly about the JAL livery?

Cons

  • It’s an extremely complicated design. Of course it looks great, but complex airline liveries are expensive. This is due to the fact that this design will be painted directly on onto the vertical stabilizers piece-by-piece. There is going to be a lot of masking involved, it’s going to take time, and it’s not going to be cheap.
  • Personally, I would’ve loved to see small bits of accent color somewhere in the design.

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3 Comments

  1. Bishal Mandal October 24, 2020
  2. Norebbo October 25, 2020
  3. Bishal Mandal October 27, 2020

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