Piper Visual Guidelines

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Piper Visual Guidelines



“ Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.� Douglas Adams

08 16 32 46

Reinventing an American Icon

The New Piper

Brand Assets


58 68 80 86

Branding Suite



Spaces + Employees



Reinventing an American Icon

The Piper Promise

The company was originally founded as Taylor Brothers Aircraft Manufacturing Company in September 1927, but it wasn’t until it was purchased by William T Piper in 1930 that it became Piper Aircraft. William T Piper had a vision for the small aircraft manufacturer: he believed that the freedom of flight should be accessible and affordable for everyone. This idea is the core of the Piper brand, and this rebrand aims to renew William T Piper’s almost century-old promise and bring it into the forefront in modern day.


The Piper Cub

Mr. Piper actualized his vision of flight for the common man with the release of the iconic Piper Cub in 1937: the Cub was affordable and easy to fly, and made Piper Aircraft profitable even during the Great Depression. During World War II, Piper designed military versions of the J-3 model Cub and supplied a total of 5,941 aircrafts to the US air force. The commerical version of the original Cub came only in bright yellow with a black lightning bolt down the side. To this day, the Cub remains an icon to aviation enthusiasts and a beloved piece of Americana.


The Current Brand

What’s working, and what could be improved? The current Piper logo is effective in that it fits in with other logos in the aviation industry and in that it has become a recognizable facet of the brand. However, it doesn’t do much in the way of informing the viewer of the personality and values of Piper. The red and blue triangles and sans serif logotype help Piper to fit in with companies like American Airlines or Cessna, but what Piper needs is to stand out from other companies and show the world how it does flight differently. The current logotype also falls into the trap of being too simple, and instead of making a statement about the brand it leaves it looking, pardon the pun, plain.


angles convey a sense of lift, but the dissonance between the angles in the type and the mark is hard on the eyes

colors provoke ideas of America and freedom, but are a little clichĂŠ

sans-serif italicized font communicates efficiency and motion, but leaves the logo a bit boring



The New Piper


Mission Piper believes that the freedom of flight is for everyone and that with the right aircraft, anyone can be a pilot. The Piper brand is committed to the mission of empowering individuals to take flight into their own hands.


Brand Personality

The Piper Voice Piper asks its potential customers to make a mental shift and change the way they think about flying whether they are experienced pilots or totally new to general aviation. This can be a tough sell. Therefor, it’s important that the Piper brand maintains a consistent voice that is both authoritative and approachable. This is a difficult but essential balance that all brand materials have to strike. The new Piper must have a sense of whimsy without coming across as childish, and a tone of professionalism and knowledge without coming across as stodgy.


Piper is...

but not...

hh friendly

´´ vapid

hh energetic

´´ unprofessional

hh playful

´´ childish

hh authoritative

´´ strict

hh nostalgic

´´ dated

hh clean

´´ sterile


The Piper Logo The new mark was inspired by the values intrinsic to the Piper brand: that flight is for everyone, and the idea of taking flight into one’s own hands. The yellow paper airplane embodies these ideals as well as honors the history of the brand. The yellow color was chosen to represent the Cub as well as evoke a sense of joy and simplicity.



Mark + Type Logo This is the most commonly used version of the logo and is to be used on all official Piper documents. When in doubt, use the full version of the logo.


The Plane Mark This mark can, in certain circumstances, be used on its own as a badge or decorative element on ads, branding, planes, and other Piper products. However, it is vitally important that this mark only be used in contexts where the Piper name is implict. Ex: the business card features this mark alone on the back, but has the full mark on the front (see on pg. 60).



Black & White

Most typical version to be used on white or light-colored backgrounds.

To be used in instances where color printing is either not possible or not necessary such as on contracts or internal documents.


On Color

On Cub Yellow

To be used on photo or color backgrounds. If necessary, a subtle drop shadow may be used as shown.

To be used on planes and other assets using Cub Yellow as the main color.


The mark and type combined logo requires a clearance equal to the diameter of the ‘e’ in the Piper logotype at 50% scale.


The plane mark alone is a little more flexible, needing only a clearance the hight of the smallest triangle in the mark.


How not to use our logo While Piper encourages creativity in applications utilizing the logo, there are a few ground rules on what kinds of treatments should be avoided to maintain the integrity of the brand.

Do not separate or move the plane mark away from the wordmark.

Keep dropshadows tasteful and use no more than 30% black.

Do not use limited colors on the logo, or any other color combinations aside from those listed on pg. 23.

Do not stretch, skew, or otherwise alter the proportions of the logo.


Never use a glow effect or stroke around the logo.

Do not add embelishments or new elements to the logo.

Do not crop the logo or show an incomplete version.

Do not change or alter the logotype font.

Do not remove the plane mark from the wordmark.

Do not alter the trajectory of the plane mark.



Brand Assets


Primary Colors The use and choice of color is essential to expressing the personality of the Piper brand. The three primary colors, Cub Yellow, Sky Blue, and Piper Navy were chosen to represent the image of a bright yellow plane peeling across an open blue sky. That feeling of whimsy, freedom and delight should be carried across every piece of the brand, and adhering to this simple palette will help to ensure this. Cub Yellow is the most essential color in the brand, and as such, tints should never be used. Tasteful use of tints is acceptable for the other colors in the pallet and even encouraged for use over photos to make them fit in more with the brand and help Cub Yellow elements pop.

Cub Yellow

Sky Blue

Piper Navy



116 C 255 205 0 FFCD00 0 14 100 0


7689 C 41 143 194 298FC2 77 25 6 0


541 C 0 60 113 003C71 100 58 9 46


Just Our Type The Piper logotype is a custom type based on Filson Soft. This helps give the logo a unique personality distinct from the rest of the brand and certainly other brands. This type is to be reserved specifically for the logo. For headlines, taglines, body copy and everything else, Piper’s font is Avenir. Avenir was chosen because of its simple and straight-forward forms which reflect a sense of efficiency and utilitarianism needed to help balance the soft curves found in the logo and other brand elements. Remember: the Piper visual brand is all about striking the balance between friendly and professional, and the blunt-yetelegant Avenir does just that.

Come Fly with Me


“ Nobody who has not been up in the sky on a glorious morning can possibly imagine the way a pilot feels in free heaven.� William T Piper

Typography: Body Copy

Body copy in typical print For printed pieces on a white background, lighter type should be used to keep paragraphs from looking too heavy on the page.

Avenir Light ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV WXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<> Avenir Light Oblique ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<> Avenir Book ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV WXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{ }?<> Avenir Book Oblique ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{ }?<>


Body copy in special print + web For pieces printed on colored or photo backgrounds, heavier typeweight may be needed. Likewise, on web and digital applications Avenir Medium at the lightest should be used to maximize contrast and improve readability.

Avenir Medium ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV WXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<> Avenir Medium Oblique ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<>

Typography: Headlines

Headlines For headlines, quotes, taglines, calls-to-action, and anything meant to grab attention, heavier-weight type is recommended.

Avenir Heavy ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{ }?<> Avenir Heavy Oblique ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{ }?<> Avenir Black ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<> Avenir Black Oblique ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 1234567890 !@#$%^&*()[]{}?<>


Your Adventure Awaits

Decorative Elements

Decorative Elements While the mark, colors, and type treatment form the heart of Piper’s visual brand, there are a few other elements that can be used to add interest to materials and help give Piper its unique voice.


The Arrowplane This icon is based on a top-view of the Piper plane mark, but its usage is much more flexible than that of the plane mark. It can be oriented in any direction and then be used as a button, a directional guide, or just as a design element on a page. The Arrowplane should ideally be in Cub Yellow, but it can be used in any of the primary brand colors should the context call for it. The Arrowplane should not be stretched or reproportioned in any way.

Decorative Elements

6pt stroke

Dotted line The dotted line is a useful design element that plays off of both the reference to maps and travel as well as the reference to dye lines and papercraft in making paper airplanes. The Piper dotted line should be composed of rounded dashes with gaps at a 1:2 ration. The 6pt, 3pt, and 1pt strokes shown, for example, have 6pt dashes with 12pt gaps and rounded terminals. Use descression when choosing a dash length. The .75pt stroke features 3pt dashes with 6pt gaps. The line does not have to be straight: it can curve and loop in whatever shape a piece needs. However, the line must have a consistent stroke-weight.

3pt stroke

1pt stroke

.75pt stroke


Decorative Elements




Successful photography helps a viewer to relate to a brand visually. For Piper in particular, photography is neccessary to communicate the excitement of flight and helps potential customers to imagine themselves living the personal aviation lifestyle. Literal depictions of planes are important but are not used as often as photos expressing the feeling of flight, the journey, and the destination. The planes are merely tools; what Piper sells is adventure.



Aircraft Of course, you can’t sell adventure without showing people the planes. Literal depictions of the planes should be found in catalogues, brochures, online, and anywhere one would go to find concrete information on the company and products. Photos should depict the planes in action from dynamic angles and be heavily bluebased. If a photo is not already blue-based, a filter using Sky Blue from the Piper palette should be applied.



Sky & Landscape Picturesque photos of blue skies and beautiful destinations should be used whenever possible to convey the idea of flying and travel to potential customers so that they may begin to imagine the kinds of sights they’ll see when flying a Piper. Birds-eye view in photos is preferable, and again photos should be blue-based.



Metaphorical The use of metaphorical imagery to elicit emotion is encouraged in Piper branding. These photos are more flexible as far as content goes, but should encapsulate feelings of flight, freedom, and whimsy.




“ Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.� Neil Armstrong


Branding Suite

Branding Suite


Business Card The business card may be small, but for many people it will be their first face-toface introduction to the brand, and first impressions matter. The business card should uphold the style and attitude of the Piper brand and also be a unique and memorable object. Cards should be printed on medium-weight card stock—sturdy enough to survive light wear, but light enough to fold­— with 2p (.25”) rounded corners.


Dotted lines are scored


Jen Eric Piper Louisville 4100 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40223 502.687.1214


The business card is scored along the dotted line so that it can be folded down into the plane from the Piper logo. This helps the Piper business card to stand out in people’s minds, and makes potential customers more likely to keep it.

Branding Suite

front, open

Envelope We want receiving a letter from Piper to be the highlight of the recipient’s day. Piper is always focused on the journey, and that spirit of adventure and discovery should be carried down to even the smallest detail. We thought about the experience of opening mail and constructed a envelopeletter system that makes even the most mundane task into something interesting and memorable. The envelope is standard business size but opens from the side with a triangular-flap containing the Arrowplane icon. The inside of the envelope is solid Sky Blue, providing an unexpected and delightful pop of color.

Piper Aircra ft, Inc. Vero Beach, FL 32960 USA

back, open


back, sealed

Branding Suite


Stationary After revealing the Sky Blue interior of the envelope, tucked inside is a bright yellow sheet of paper. The back of Piper stationary is Cub Yellow and, like the business card, features a dye line that becomes the Piper Airplane logo when folded. The front’s design is kept rather minimal to complement the boldness of the back. Piper stationary is set on standard A4 paper with 2p (.25”) rounded corners.

2926 Piper Drive. Vero Beach, FL 772.567.4361 piper.com

Mr. Smith, I’m writing to thank you for becoming an of ficial af filiate of the Piper Aircraf t rental initiative, Flyby Piper™. Flyby Piper™ is the newest and most exiting addition to the Piper brand and refreshes Piper’s original vision of bringing the joy of flight to the average person. With your help, we can make personal flight a regular par t of American life, leisure and travel. We’ll be in contac t over the phone within the coming weeks, I just wanted to take the time to reach out to you and give you a warm welcome Wto the Piper family.

Best, Charles Haymond President of Flyby Piper



Branding Suite

Shipping + Packaging While we can’t ship planes directly to customers homes (yet), Piper does ship out replacement parts, apparel, and other merchandise frequently.

NO. 678483

The shipping label is fairly simple and unassuming, which allows the packaging itself to take the spotlight.

Piper Aircraft, Inc. 2926 Piper Drive Vero Beach, Florida 32960

Justin Kaze 6250 Walnut Street 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 3758





Piper’s advertising is, for many customers, how they first meet the brand. It is improtant to establish the unique voice of Piper in every ad to start that relationship off on the right foot. Standards for Piper ads are a little looser than those for the rest of the brand­­, but they should still be guided by the aesthetic of the brand: Piper colors, typogrpahic treatment, and imagery should be used to carry a consistant voice and connect advertising firmly to the Piper brand.


e graceful plane



Print While Piper is extending its audience further with the new brand, print ads will still most often be living in aviation enthusiast magazines and travel magazines. So here’s the thing: the audiences for these kinds of publications are tired of seeing pictures of planes. They know what a plane looks like. General aviation ads run into the same problem as car commercials—people just tune them out after awhile. That’s why it’s so important for Piper to engage the audience differently. The use of metaphorical imagery and clever tag lines that uphold the attitude of the brand will help Piper to reach our audience more effectively and stay on their minds.



“Where Will You Land?� Campaign Piper’s main adverstising campaign extends from print to digital and is based on audience participation. In magazine form, the ad first appears on the recto page showing a destination photo with a yellow paper plane and the full Piper logo. When the page is turned, the back features a bright yellow dieline to build the paper plane and encourages readers to take a photo with the plane and engage with the brand on social media.



Mobile Mobile ads are flexible, but should ideally be based on metaphorical and destination imagery, focusing on the idea of Piper being the catalyst for a unique and individual experience



Billboards + Street Ads Roadside ads give Piper a unique angle to approach potential customers. Outdoor ads should take advantage of the fact that their audience will be driving cars and suggest that they could by flying planes instead. For maximum impact, ads should be placed in hightraffic and jam-prone areas—places where driving isn’t necessarily fun—and show some of the beautiful scenery drivers could be seeing instead of bumpers and taillights.





Homepage + Consistent Elements The homepage should open with a large, high resolution hero image of a sky or destination with the full Piper logo laid on top to serve as a landing page and orient the user to the mood of the Piper brand. (figure 1) The website features a sticky navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. The entire site but the home page in particular uses the dotted line as a decorative element to guide the eye through the Piper story and also add motion to the page. (figure 2) The footer is the same across all pages: a Sky Blue container shape holding social media buttons and the Arrowplane shape serving as a “back to top� button. (figure 3)






Secondary pages + style Across the site, diagonal lines and shapes are used to create interest and movement in addition to the dotted lines. Casual and punny language is used when possible and appropriate to communicate a fun and light-hearted attitude. Button styles across pages are rounded rectangles. Site overall is laid out in large, flat, color bloc panels with careful drop shading to create dimension.



Spaces + Employees

Spaces + Employees

When someone enters a Piper dealership or corporate office, they should have the same feelings of whimsey and excitement provided by all other Piper materials. Likewise, Piper employees should be upbeat and happy to be at work to give customers the best and most genuine Piper experience possible. To have happy workers, Piper must be a great place to work. One aspect of making Piper a great place to work is providing a clean, stylish, colorful and comfortable work environment.


Spaces + Employees

Wayfinding Wayfinding in Piper establishments is handled using the standard Piper dotted line and a key. This makes directions around the building simple, clear, and interesting for newcomers to a space. Depending on the needs of a space, colors outside of the official color palette may be used for wayfinding as long as they are complimentary to the main palette.


Front Desk



Conference Rooms



Spaces + Employees

Furniture + Decor Decor and furniture in Piper establishments should be informed by the visual attitude of the brand: simple, colorful, approachable and friendly.


Spaces + Employees

Uniforms + Indentification Employees on the customer service end of Piper should be wearing Piper colors so that they can easily be identified by customers entering a space. All employees should have the suggested identification card displaying a friendly headshot of the employee, their first name, and their title on the front. The employee’s full name, keycode, and other relevant info can be put on the back.


Spaces + Employees

Details Shown here is the suggested Piper desk set for corporate and sales employees. Consider: these items will be the last things a potential customer will see during their Piper experience before signing the paperwork for their own Piper plane. The attitude and excitement of the Piper brand should be brought down even to the smallest detail—this provides a consistent and reassuring voice to the customer along every step of the process, and also creates a fun and creative work environment for employees.




“ Adventure is worth while in itself�

Amelia Earhart

Photo Credits Most of the photos used in this book were either legally purchased stock or royalty-free images. All others are the intellectual property of the individuals or parties listed below. Credit Piper Aircraft Piper Aviation Museum Piotr Jaszczuk Lauren Foster Cub Crafters International Plastics Home Depot LA Times Jonah Podbereski Interior Design Poppin

Pages 8, 50, 68, 82, 85 10 13 46 50, 56, 82 67 67 86 88 90 94, 98

About This book was arranged by Emi Johnson for her Identity Systems class under Steve Skaggs at the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville. To hire Emi at your fabulously fameous desgin agency or just to chat, find her online at emijohnson.com.

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