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Flying With New Colors

It’s been an exciting time here at 10 Tanker HQ, after a record breaking year the company decided it was time to give our DC-10’s a new look. Naturally, we wanted to work with someone experienced and talented. Having worked with clients such as Toyota, NFL, NBA, Olympics, and the American Cancer Society, along with receiving numerous awards for his work; it was a no-brainer, Kyle Courtright at Courtright Design was the man for the job. I got a chance to speak with Kyle and ask him a couple of questions about his design here’s what he had to say:

What was your approach when you first started the project?

Creating vibrant, distinct and memorable visual communications. To help 10 Tanker visually stand out from the competition and bring (even) greater levels of trust and credibility is a privilege and responsibility I don't take lightly. The old branding worked for a time, but as the company has grown, it was more important than ever to create a visual brand that was inspiring and distinctly memorable to 10 Tanker. Paring it down simply: The design needed to justify the excellence of the brand in question.

Where did you find inspiration for the design?

The triangular shapes maintain an abstract, eye-catching portrayal of the retardant being released. It was my goal to create a marriage between the flowing, aerodynamic feel on the sides and the unapologetically edgy feel with the retardant "triangles".

Did you think there would be any challenges?

A challenge with the aircraft design had to do with the retardant drop. As the plane makes its run and releases the retardant, the back of the aircraft (primarily the bottom and sides closer to the back) tend to get stained with a reddish orange color over time. To offset this, the visual weight of the orange on the bottom and sides were gradually increased from the front to the back of the aircraft. This would more effectively mask staining and avoid costly paint jobs down the line.

The company has maintained a level of international brand recognition - particularly recognizable to its 10 Tanker "orange". Staying true to the primarily orange palette preserved a level of brand equity and credibility already established in the industry.

What did you think of the project?

I'm attracted to brands who make an obvious difference for good in the world. In the end, 10 Tanker helps save lives. I've been fortunate enough to design for the Rio and London Olympics, Toyota, and other big brands, but this project for 10 Tanker may just take the cake. It's beyond rewarding to partner with a company like 10 Tanker who makes such an undeniably positive mark on the planet.

And when it comes down to it, design has a ROI. The compounding effect of a freshly recognizable visual brand is powerful and effective. To help be a part of taking 10 Tanker to new levels of growth so more lives can be saved? It's humbling and exciting.

If you’d like to learn more about Kyle and his work feel free to check his site at:

It was an honor to work with Kyle and we are grateful for his contribution to our future work.

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