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Having worked there on and off for the last 25 years Neil Denari is huge in Japan. His latest achievement in the country was just unveiled yesterday: the complete design for Japan’s first ever low-cost regional airline, called Peach.
The airline, which will be based in Osaka, will fly within about an hour of that airport to locations in Japan, China, Korea and elsewhere in Asia. Its first flights will be next spring. The Peach, Denari explained, is a positive symbol in several Asian cultures, representing, among other things, longevity and fertility.
Denari won the competition for the project back in January and his firm, Neil M Denari Architects, worked on the design from then until April. The airline’s planes, outfitted in various shades of purple along with an abstracted peach emblem, are meant to cater to a young demographic in its 20s and 30s, said Denari. Inside the planes will have purple and grey seats, purple strips on overhead bins, grey rugs with purple specks and purple partitions. The “Peach” lettering will have a stencil effect reminiscent of the writing on a fruit box.
“It’s pretty vivid. It wouldn’t have worked if they would have tried to do something conservative to make it so broad that there was no style,” said Denari, vaguely referring to certain low cost airlines in the U.S. “And it needed to be cool and cute, but not Hello Kitty cute.”
And why purple if the name of the airline is Peach? “There’s nothing enigmatic or curious about that,” said Denari, of a more literal peach palette. “They got that.”
Over his years in Japan Denari has taught, designed an exhibition, done brand consulting, and designed several banks for Mitsubishi United Financial Group. There’s a chance he may also design the lounge for the airline at Konsai Airport in Osaka.
“It’s a culture of strong visual impressions,” said Denari of Japan. “The expectations for how design and media work to transform experience are very sophisticated.”