Tropical Air Tails

Maya Island Air says goodbye to boring, plain airplanes.

Big Picture, in partnership with ISA and sponsored by Fujifilm and HP, is excited to announce the first-ever Best of Wide Format Awards. These winning projects are the most creative, innovative, and inspiring in our field and truly showcase how print service providers push the boundaries of wide-format digital print.

Maya Island Air Tails

Maya Island Air Tails

Print Shop: McNab Visual Strategies 
Location: Belize City, Belize
Tools and Supplies: Arlon DPF 8000 Ultra Tack film, Mimaki CJV150-160

More than a million tourists visit Belize each year to experience the country’s lush landscapes and rich culture. To showcase what makes the country unique, local Belizean airline Maya Island Air called on McNab Visual Strategies to outfit its fleet with vibrant imagery for a rebrand. Maya Island Air caters mostly to travelers exploring the area. Thirteen small aircraft fly a combined 250-plus scheduled flights daily to nine destinations in Belize and charters to nearby Guatemala and Honduras.

McNab Visual, a family-owned graphic design, publishing, and digital printing company based in Belize City, first tackled what photographs to use to bedeck the aircraft tails. “The shape of the tail is somewhat limiting as to what iconic Belizean symbols can go on it, so sourcing and commissioning the right photos were the biggest challenges,” says Wayne McNab, managing director. 

Each airplane features different graphics including a jaguar, which is found throughout Belize’s lowland forests and along the coasts; a macaw, a bird in the parrot family native to the country’s forests near rivers; an underwater Caribbean marine-life scene; and the famous Great Blue Hole, the world’s largest sinkhole with a depth of 984 feet, which is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “We don’t see animals and UNESCO World Heritage Sites on aircraft tails every day, especially on small caravans,” McNab adds.

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