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Mexican Heritage Knows No Borders!

The Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, adorns our new 787-9 Dreamliner

To welcome the most modern aircraft in the world - the 787-9 Dreamliner - to our fleet we held a contest. Mainly at universities, to create the design of the livery. It was called “The Design is Up in the Air” and we received 1,000 entries, 400 designs and chose only one winner, José Manuel Escudero - a graphic designer.

Throughout the contest, it became clear to Escudero that the livery should representative of Mexico regardless of where it would be flying. Escudero was always immersed in Mesoamerican cultures, as his father used to take him and his sister, to archaeological sites as children.

For inspiration, Escudero visited the family library, where his father has a small collection of historical books of the pre-Hispanic era. It was there he found his muse in the tales of gods and other Mesoamerican cultures.



While researching, he found so many elements to incorporate that he actually had to narrow it down to the 21 which he found to be most representative of Mexico. With all this in mind, he started the illustrations, which are inspired by the icons of the codices.

The glyphs are illustrated references of the Totonac, Mayans, Aztecs and Olmecs. They were also inspired by the colorful Mexican crafts, textile alebrijes and traditional costumes. One element that stands out above all is the Quetzalcoatl, the mythical god who embodies all pre-Hispanic cultures, it represents the culture and traditions of Mexico - the perfect garb for our new 787-9 Dreamliner.

The Feathered Serpent, adorns the livery and encompasses the 20 remaining colorful glyphs which are transformed chromatically through handmade brush strokes.



The icons that Escudero chose to represent Mexico are as follows: Quetzalcoatl, an eagle, a monkey, Xoloescuincle, an ear of corn, a toad, a deer, an armadillo, a flower, a butterfly, a spider, nopales, axolotl, a rabbit, a turtle, a jaguar, a hummingbird, a bee, a heron, a wolf and a quetzal.

It took Escudero four days to research and design the final livery. While the actual paint job took Boeing a total of nine days to complete - three times longer than the average.

One of the challenges encountered in carrying Escudero’s design to production was: a transferring his ideas to such a large scale, because typically, he made designs for products, packaging and posters.

Escudero has shown his talent in other national competitions like this to celebrate Xalapa, group exhibitions in MUMEDI and others. Currently, he teaches typography and is assistant to Cuban professor Antonio Perez at Gestalt University of Design.

We believe that an open-minded approach which extends not just to design, but to our business philosophy.