Origami crane informs Nendo of review of Japan Airlines amenity kits


Nendo has completed a complete overhaul of all Japan Airlines in-flight amenities, from meal trays to slippers and earplug packaging, which is inspired by the lines of a paper crane.


The redesign is based on the logo of the National Transporter – a traditional crest known as the tsurumaru, in which a crane forms a circle with its wings outstretched.

Above: The covers have red folded corners. Top image: The design was inspired by the motif of an origami crane

This design is extrapolated into a more minimalist red origami bird which, according to Nendo, acts as “a symbol of peace, prayer and the spirit of hospitality.”

Its graphic pleats are referenced throughout the product line, with a tag attached to accessories such as eye masks, slippers and pillows nodding to the shape of its pointy wing tips.

Pillow and blanket by Nendo for Japan Airlines
Red labels appear throughout the product line

A similar red stripe resembling an inverted bookmark is also wrapped around the rolled napkins that hold the cutlery, while the triangular head of the paper crane is referenced in the folded corners of blankets, tablecloths and napkins.

Elsewhere, Nendo took a more abstract approach, incorporating the mosaic patterns that are left on a piece of paper when the origami bird is unfolded.

In-flight makeup bag by Nendo
Cosmetic flags are adorned with crane folding patterns

These can be found on in-flight cosmetic bags as well as daily cards, where the line art helps flight attendants differentiate between Western and Japanese menus.

Likewise, the placemats and paper tableware are crisscrossed with white and gray lines, making them neatly arranged and stacked on the meal trays to reveal the crane folding pattern.

In-flight meal and crockery tray by Nendo for Japan Airlines
Meal trays and dishes can be arranged using their crisscrossing lines as a guide

Since the equipment for Japan Airlines international flights is printed and manufactured in different places, this complicated the process of exact color matching and led Nendo to choose not one but seven different shades of gray to compensate for the red accents. .

Ranging from granite to warmer beige tones, this helps distinguish between different classes of aircraft while maintaining a cohesive overall design.

Covers by Nendo for Japan Airlines
Different shades of gray distinguish the different travel classes

Textiles and accessories in Economy Class feature a mix of three different lighter tones to give the interior a light feel despite its compact dimensions, and in Business Class, a silver hue contrasts with a darker slate gray for a ” clean and modern look “.

Red hues are reserved for first class and also serve to distinguish meal trays and menus designed for Western cuisine from the cool gray used for their Japanese counterparts.

In-flight menu by Nendo
Line art on menus helps to highlight their content

For items that remain the same across all Japan Airlines travel classes, such as earplugs, toothbrushes, and cosmetic bags, Nendo has gone for a neutral tone and unified their opening mechanism so that ‘it runs in the same direction along a dotted line.

Other design studios such as London-based PriestmanGoode have instead focused on reducing the amount of single-use plastic used during in-flight meal services.

The company designed a whole table setting made from commercially edible and compostable materials, including a tray formed from coffee grounds and a mug made of rice husks and lined with seaweed.