A closer look at the ANA (All Nippon Airways) livery

By Norebbo •  5 min read

The ANA livery is unique in that it’s one of the simplest – yet one of the classiest – in the airline business. This is my opinion of course, but it’s hard to deny that the colors of All Nippon Airways are beautiful (no matter what aircraft type they are painted on).

Consisting of just 4 colors (white, gray, and two different shades of blue), this livery extends the entire width of the fuselage in a striking “directional” wedge. Most importantly, it’s far more creative than the JAL livery.

Better looking airplanes may not persuade travelers to choose one airline over another, but it does help to build brand awareness. ANA is succeeding magnificently in that regard.

The ANA livery on an assortment of aircraft

ANA operates an extensive fleet of aircraft types, and this blue and white “wedge” livery looks great on all of them. From the A320 to the 77W, it’s a beautiful design which lends itself well to the general shape of any aircraft.

Boeing 777-300/ER

The Boeing 777-300/ER is an odd-looking aircraft in side view. It’s extremely long and thin, which makes sense considering that it has just as much capacity as a 747-400. Thankfully, the All Nippon Airways livery makes it look good.

All Nippon Airways 777-381/ER

The All Nippon Airways livery lookin’ good on the 777-300/ER

Boeing 787

ANA was the launch customer for the Boeing 787. All the Norebbo OG’s out there will remember that the first livery that I ever painted onto my Boeing 787-8 template was the Japan Airlines (JAL) livery. It’s not like I was trying to go in chronological order or anything, but I should have done the All Nippon Airways version first.

This particular ANA color scheme (below) was modified to celebrate the launch of the 787. It features very large ”787″ titles at the forward section of the fuselage, while the rest of the livery remains standard-issue ANA. This livery was was ANA’s special livery for all but two of their 787′s shortly after launch of the aircraft.

ANA (All Nippon Airways) 787 livery

ANA (All Nippon Airways) 787 livery on my Boeing 787-8 template

The illustrations of the livery depicted below actually came before the special 787 livery (above). Since ANA was the launch customer for the type, Boeing had to do a lot of final testing on the first 2 production aircraft before finally handing over the keys (figuratively, not literally). These well-used aircraft were ultimately delivered as brand new aircraft to ANA.

However – before taking delivery, the aircraft were stripped of the standard livery (below) and painted into the special 787 livery (above). It makes my head hurt trying to get the timeline in order, but that’s pretty much how it all went down.

standard ANA 787 livery

The standard ANA 787 livery over top of my Boeing 787-8 template

Airbus A320

Even on smaller aircraft such as the A320, this livery holds together well. The blue is far more prominent than it is on larger aircraft types, but the “wedge” remains intact. I actually like how much more condensed it looks.

ANA A320 livery

The ANA Airbus A320 – not as impressive as larger aircraft types, but the colors still look great!

Color palette

Although far from being the most colorful airline livery in the world, The ANA livery is pretty much the exact opposite of the competition (*cough* Japan Airlines *cough*). It’s a fairly complex design consisting of four basic colors:

ana livery color palette

Just 4 colors! Proof that you don’t need a complex color palette to make a great airline livery.

Because of how simple the color palette is, I can imagine how neat it would be to create special liveries with alternate color schemes. They would completely change the look of their aircraft with a simple color change, and it wouldn’t involve messing with the basic design elements. That’s pretty cool.

Pros and cons of the ANA airlines livery (my opinion anyway)

There’s a lot to like and dislike about this livery. I mostly liked it until I attempted to illustrate it on the several different types of aircraft you saw above. I noticed some inconsistencies (the good kind), and it made me rethink how good of a design solution this really was. The easiest way to explain what I mean is to give you a list of pros and cons:




My name is Scott, and I started in the design industry over 20 years ago with a bachelors degree in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. I have an extensive background in both 2D and 3D illustration, and these days, I spend a majority of my time creating aircraft templates and airliner art. I’m basically an airplane dork.

Keep Reading