Design Your Own Airline Tutorial | Step By Step Guide

Design Your Own Airline tutorial

Hello everyone

With the introduction of the new Design Your Own Airline or Repaint an Existing Airline - Official Thread I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to get the perfect livery design.


There are a number of ways you can design your own livery. I suggest the following software:




There are other options which might be cheaper or free, but these are the tool that I use and highly recommend


For Templates I use There you have a wide selection of template and they are really simple to download.


  • Logos should have transparent background.
  • When searching for a logo / image make sure it has a high enough quality.
  • When using a logo from the internet, make sure you give credit to the original owner.

Searching for the perfect logo

When searching I recommend using this tip. After you’ve search for the logo you’d like to use, go to the search bar and click on tools.


After click on colour and select transparent. Google will then only show you images / logos with a transparent background.

Note: Sometimes it may not always show a transparent background so just double check before you use it.


Importing the template

Importing the template is very easy. Just right click on the file you have downloaded and then select open with the software you would like to use. I will be using affinity designer.

The template will open up and you should see this on your screen. (Layout can vary depending on your settings)

Designing your aircraft

After you have opened your template you are ready to start. I will only be showing how to create a simple livery.

I like to start off with tail. First I import my image by dragging it in from my Desktop. Then I find the layer that it needs to go in. On the right hand side you can see the many layers that this template has. Make sure you also have it on the correct layer. As you can see I have it just between the TAIL_DETAILS and the TAIL layers.

Now for the logo on the front. What I did here was inserted a textbox and typed the word Tutorial. I then made sure it was on the correct layer. This time I put it just above the FUSELAGE Layer. This way the textbox will be in front of the fuselage, but still behind the windows. It’s very import that you put you images and texts on the correct layer!

Small details

This is where I start to add a bit of colour to the aircraft. First select the part you would like to change by searching in the Layers section.

Once selected go to Effects > Colour Overlay and tick the box. Your part will now change colour. From here you can change the colour to what ever you want.

Next up I’ll show you how to do the Sharklets. It very simple and is the same process as we just did for the engine. Select the Sharklet by searching in the Layers section.

Once selected go to Effects > Colour Overlay and tick the box. The Sharklet will now change colour. From here you can change the colour to what ever you want.

Exporting your design

Exporting is very simple. First click on file > Export.

Then choose the file type you would like to export as. If you want a transparent background export the image as a png and if you want a white background choose jpg / jpeg.

Note: Discourse will convert you png automatically into a jpeg, so don’t worry if you picture has a white background.

After you have done that, you can then choose what to call the file and then save it.

Post template

Make sure when posting you follow the rules. Down below is a simple post template that you can use. Feel free to adapt it and improve it.

Airline: Tutorial
Aircraft: A350-900
Registration: n/a

Template: MED
Logos: Cogs icon
Design: A simple design for my tutorial


That’s a very detailed tutorial! Nice job :)


Amazing tutorial !! Really commendable job @Chris_Wing !

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Great tutorial mate! I’ve never made an airline design before, I may consider making one now.

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Just have a few things, firstly logos do not have to be transparent. Now I say this because you can simply color the background of the logo to what the aircraft is and make the logo the color you want. Personal preference here but I like to start off with an idea in my head, transplant them to the search bar, and customize the best result I find to my liking.

For example I went from this:


to this (low quality version of the logo):


Second, I recommend making multiple layers above the main (e.x. fuselage or tail) layer. This allows you to just delete or hide one if you want to try 2 different things or messed up instead of tediously erasing and replacing. So basically just make a new layer for each major section of the aircraft. Personally, on the fuselage, for example, I do a layer for:

fuselage design, text, registration, logo (if applicable), alliance (if applicable), boarding card (if applicable), etc etc.

All are above the main layer for easy masking.

Finally Id like to point out that text should account for the curvature of the fuselage, meaning if it’s above the windows it shouldn’t be extraordinarily tall and if it’s billboard text it should be scaled down just a bit (usually below the windows is fine).

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I use GIMP for my liveries, it’s free, easy to use, and supported on iMac. That’s another option, it also produces high quality liveries 😄

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Very cool tutorial, nice job Chris!

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I wrote it on another post by a TL2 member in this category before, but this is exactly what the change can bring as benefits. Very well made and detailed topic which doesn’t take away from the User Guide, but helps users to learn about an IF/IFC topic not covered in a very good and detailed manner.

Thank you for your efforts, well done!

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what if I am trying to do an american livery and cant find an image for the side of the 737 what should i do?

You can’t find the B737 template or an image of the AA B737?

Try going to Norebbo’s website. They usually post their templates there where you can download them. You could also use MED templates which you can access by going to the link posted on the livery design thread. You have to make an account to access the MED templates though.

i can find a template its just idk how to get the side of the plane like the color on there

New update here, ibisPaintX offered support for PSD files starting v12.0.0.

The file can be opened by using file managers, i.e ZArchive, by clicking the Share button.