10 Most Popular Airline Logos of the World

10 Most Popular Airline Logos of the World

Airline branding is a serious thing as billions of dollars are put on the line. To stand apart companies should use distinctive logos. Check the top 10 airline logos.

American Airlines

American Airlines logo

Of all the American Airline companies logos the current one is the most simplified version. The logic behind the new design was that the company wanted “a clean and modern update”. The logo was introduced in 2013 in the course of the rebranding and marketing campaign named “The New American”. Though it has a new look, actually, it features the same core elements. These are the three colors (red, blue and white), the stylized eagle which at the same time suggests the tail of an airplane and the “A”.

Interestingly enough, the previous logo was in use for forty-five years. It is really an impressive stretch!

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines logo

The Delta Air Lines logo has evolved from the image of a flying cloud wearing a helmet to the triangle “widget” we are used to seeing today. The first “widget” appeared in 1959. Its shape was inspired by the Greek letter delta. It is obviously a hint at the airline’s name and origins. More than that, it reminds the design of the wing of Delta’s first jet aircraft.

The current symbol looks dull at first sight, but in fact it is rather effective. It contains a lot of subconscious visual information and is open to interpretation. Thus, the angles the triangle point upward, implying flight and superiority.

Deutsche Lufthansa

Deutsche Lufthansa logo

The logo of the largest airline in Europe appears to be the world’s oldest airline logo. It dates back as far as 1918. The iconic image of the stylized crane in flight, created by Otto Firle, is still in use. It has been redesigned several times, yet, not very significantly.

The recent update of the Deutsche Lufthansa logo resulted in a slimmer bird and a thinner ring, which fits the digital world perfectly well.

Such a commitment to a century old design is explained by the fact that in the company’s view the bird symbolizes fascinating capabilities ‒ speed, mobility, endurance and world-wide connections.

Ryanair

Ryanair logo

Silhouettes often work well in logo design, which is the case with the Ryanair logo. The silhouette of a flying angel in front of the word “Ryanair” turns out to be the gold Celtic harp, the nation symbol of Ireland.

The harp-angel symbol appeared in 1987, but four years later the company got rid of it foe some reason. In 2013 they restored it in its usual place as the logo with this image really has a kind of personality and expresses the concept of flying well.

China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines logo

China Southern Airlines is a relatively young company, so its logo history started in 1984. The first symbol was just a kapok flower. At present the China Southern Airlines logo depicts the red kapok flower adoring a blue tail fin and the wordmark “China Southern Airlines” to the right of it. The choice of kapok as a symbol for the airline is explained by the fact that it is also the city flower of Guangzhou where the company is headquartered. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons why the design of this logo is unique and memorable.

Emirates

Emirates logo

In some Islamic cultures it is forbidden to use drawn images, so the company has put into service a very stylized calligraphy of its name in Arabic. In fact, the Air Emirates logo consists of the word “Emirates” in two languages ‒ Arabic and English. The company refers to the “sacred” calligraphy of the logo in Arabic as the Arabic logo and to the logo in English as the English logo.

In the current modification of the logotype the English logo is enlarged, while the Arabic one is smaller. The Arabic logo is written on three levels from the right to the left and is placed above the English word.

Air France

Air France logo

The Air France insignia used to be a winged seahorse adopted from its predecessor Air Orient. It adorned the airline’s logo from 1933 to 1976. The symbol that replaced it consisted of some blue and red stripes of different thickness, positioned at an angle.

The Air France new logo revealed in 2009 is just a red ribbon-like stripe to the right of the airline’s name that is set as one word. The design critics have appreciated it as “a nice, elegant update”.

British Airways

British Airways logo

It took British Airways more than ten years to find out that the simple wordmark that used to be the British Airways logo since 1973 was not a good look. Though it was “overly British” due to the red and blue colors, the airline got rid of it in 1984. The stacked “British” and “airways”, the latter being without the dot above the “i”, gave a low quality feel, more appropriate for a budget airline.

The new insignia was a huge step in the right direction, which improved consumer brand perceptions. The current ribbon symbol unveiled in 1997 identifies the airline as a premium, truly worldwide brand even more.

United Airlines

United Airlines logo

People whose preferred choice was United Airlines regretted the company’s decision to retire its “tulip” logo.

The abstract of the letter U in red, blue and white underwent three updates during 38 years of its existence. It had some symbolism as the ribbon-like rendering represented the motion of flight. That symbol appealed to the customers more than the current United Airlines logo ‒ the Continental Airlines abstract globe adopted by United Airlines during their merger.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines logo

Southwest Airlines is the only airline in the world that has a heart as its main identifier. And it is great, especially in comparison with the previous logo which was a plane with the airline’s name under it.

The heart icon is not the only element in the Southwest Airlines logo. There is also the “Southwest” in the logo, and the tricolored heart accompanies it. Its size is small, due to which it looks like a punctuation mark.

We can’t but mention some more great logos. They haven’t entered the list of top 10 airline logos, but deserve it. They are distinctive and memorable and, therefore, fully correspond to the criteria of a good logo. Here they are.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines logo

The Alaska Airlines logo is a wordmark-based logo, so the airline has always given a lot of consideration to the typeface, the color and the arrangement of the words. What concerns the version unveiled in 2014, no stroke is used accidentally, but each of them communicates some idea, critical for the company. On the whole, Alaska Airlines has managed to fill its new identity with energy, life and confidence.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines logo

In 2017 Hawaiian Airlines had a rebrand which was accomplished by the New-York-based design company Lippincott. The result was a modern identity that stayed true to the traditions and kept the integrity of the brand.

In the new version the Pualani icon that has been present in the Hawaiian Airlines logo for 44 years is against the background of a rising sun, not a flower as it was in the previous logo. There are some other differences, but they only added to its usual charming attraction.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines logo

As a result of the update of 2014 the wordmark in the Spirit Airlines logo turned from bright blue to black with some white strokes. The idea was to match the company’s low-cost business philosophy.

Employing such a simple design, Spirit Airlines does not have to spend money on costly advertising campaigns. The money saved makes it possible to offer even lower fares to customers.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines logo

Like many airline logos, the Singapore Airlines logo features a bird. But unlike all those bird logos this one was inspired by a silver kris, a local dagger featured in the folklore of Southeast Asia.

While the wordmark has undergone some changes since 1972, the bird icon remains the same. In the current symbol it is placed either to the right of the wordmark or above it.

On the whole, global air traffic is represented by hundreds of logos. Some of them are more special than others, and we have mentioned them in this article. But this is our point of view.

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