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The Pan Am globe, the Lufthansa crane, the Delta tricorn, Air New Zealand’s “Koru” and many others meet this criterion beautifully. Maybe they need a tweaking or two over time, but the template of such logos — the really good ones — remains essentially timeless. And if you’ve got something like that, you dispense with it at your peril.
I was at Kennedy Airport recently and had the opportunity to view several American Airlines jets — some in the old paintjob, others in the new one.
By a margin of about 2,000 votes, of some 60,000 cast, workers chose to stay with the new look. But if he got what he wanted, that’s probably because the vote was effectively rigged.
Parker won by making the airplane’s tail the focus of the vote.
Particularly if you’re replacing it with something so utterly vapid. It looks like a linoleum knife poking through a shower curtain.
If it’s not the worst corporate trademark the airline business has ever seen, I don’t know what is.
Created by Massimo Vignelli in 1967, it was everything a logo should be: elegantly simple, dignified, and instantly recognizable. The logo — the trademark, the company emblem, to be reproduced on everything from stationery to boarding passes — is the heart of an airline’s graphic identity, around which everything else revolves.
It has been said that the true test of a logo is this: can it be remembered and sketched, freehand and with reasonable accuracy, by a young child?
To be clear, I’m not arguing that American didn’t need a spruce-up.
It was never anything beautiful, but what distinguished it was the logo — the famous “AA,” its red and blue letters bisected by the proud, cross-winged eagle.
This was one of the last true icons of airline branding left in the world. flag motif tail, a faux-silver fuselage, and an entirely new logo that is so unspeakably ugly that it nearly brings tears to my eyes.
American had bucked more than three decades of design fads.
It’s distinctive silver skin, tricolor stripe and gothic “AA” logo dated back to the days of the its 707 “Astrojets.” Heck, my first ever airplane ride, in 1974, was on an American 727 decked out in the very same paintjob that, until last year, was American’s signature.