Let's face it, many airlines are content with pretty bland liveries. Branding notwithstanding, a livery can bring so much in the perception of an airline (and I'm not only talking about plane spotters here!).

TheDesignAir has judged the best for 2014. I'm not going to reveal the winner (heh, just click on the title), but shall point out two of my personal favorite.

In 6th place, Swiss. 

its clean simple look is the epitome of Swiss design, both functional and bold. The logo is in essence the national flag and nothing could be better for a national carrier … Well done Swiss, for showing how simple modernist design should be executed.

I couldn't agree more. I was a real fan of Tyler Brulé's original design, but while I still miss the square logo, I must admit that the simplified branding works very well. Understated, elegant and confident. (Granted, I might be biased as a Swiss citizen).

SWISS-design. (image credit: TheDesignAir)

In 5th place, Starflyer.

It’s a paint-job that makes the airline look more private jet than low cost carrier.

It's the best low-cost carrier I've ever flown bar none. It's better than many traditional companies too. Every detail in the cabin, from the seats to the touch screen UI discreetly implies subtle refinement (and the safety video is fantastic).

Your own private low-cost carrier. (image credit: TheDesignAir)