Air Algerie logo
Air Jamaica logo
Cameroon Air logo
Iraqi Airways logo
Japan Airlines logo (previous)
Lloyd Aeroe Boliviano logo
Designed by Otto Firle, in 1918
Modified by Otl Aicher, in 1969
Tame Airlines logo
Tarom Romanian Air Transport logo
Turkish Airlines logo
Zambia Airways logo
In fact, it’s probably wise that I steer clear of birds altogether.
Aero Mexico logo
Air Gabon logo
Air Mauritius logo
Air Siam logo
American Airlines logo
Designed by Vignelli Associates, in 1967
Cathay Pacific logo
Garuda Indonesia logo
Designed by Landor (thanks Tjeerd)
Kuwait Airways logo
Ozark Airlines logo
Piedmont Airlines logo
Presidential Airways logo
Singapore Airlines logo
Taca Airlines logo
Designed by Lippincott, in 2008
Tam Airlines logo
Trans Mediterranean Airways logo
If you know who designed any of the un-credited logos, please let me know so I can add their name(s).
More airline logos on The Museum of Flight (link removed, broken as of 2022, unfortunately). It was via Antonio’s excellent @AisleOne on Twitter. Worth a follow.
This is quite a collection. I’ve probably never heard of about 80% of this little lot! It seems that most are quite dated in style and very dry. I think avoiding wings altogether would be necessary! Out of them all though I appreciated ‘Garuda Indonesia’ the most – at least its not in a circle!
The airline from my country (Air Mauritius)’s logo is also a bird. link. I just thought it would also be a nice inclusion on this (almost) comprehensive list. ;)
The Garuda-logo was created by Landor, just like their previous one.
The Ozark logo reminds me of the logo of the Knaus Caravan brand http://images.google.com/images?q=knaus+logo
Detail: some older caravans (travel trailers for the americans) by Knaus have the swallows flying down instead of up. These were produced when it didn’t go well with the company.
Another airline company: http://www.tam.com.br included a bird in logo after redesign.
Look up Taca Airlines in El Salvador. They have gone down the bird route too.
You can add a PLL LOT (polish airlines) to the mix
here’s another one from TAROM – Romanian Airlines http://www.tarom.ro/&res/img/brand/logo.gif
hahahaha, this is cool.
A bird in a circle is also something you want to avoid if you find yourself on the set of Sesame Street: Ring of Death edition.
Nice post, and a sturdy reminder to at least take a look around before designing a logo!
This is a great observation and collection of airline logos. It’s shocking to me how similar some of these look. Thanks for the warning. :)
I wrote on this exact topic nearly a year ago now!
What’s wrong with the American Airlines logo? It was designed by Massimo Vignelli and has not been changed for over 40 years. And the eagle is the national bird of the US so I think that ‘bird logo’ does a great job of representing an ‘american airline’. (Side note: watch his interview in the documentary Helvetica).
Oh my god, Air Gabon is amazing. It looks like it was designed by Jim Henson! Personally I’ve always been a fan of the Qantas logo. Nice placement on the tailfin, and it’s not a bloody bird.
I was wondering, could you do the same thing for companies with “international” in their name that use globe images ;-) ?
Making a logo for airlines without using a plane: a bird. Haha. It seems to be the first thing that comes to mind.
I wonder how many agencies convinced the airlines to go with these particular logo because marketing research encouraged the message the logo would send to consumers….
I could just explode with laughter!
also Air One – http://www.alitalia.com/AP_IT/home/index.aspx
See also the Argentine airline: http://www.aerolineas.com.ar/
Uzbekistan Airways logo should also be added.
What about a deer in a circle? The old South African Airways logo had a flying Springbok (a buck, like a deer.) http://flagspot.net/images/z/za$saaold.gif
The new one has bird/wing connotations but is more based on the South African flag I think.
Air Namibia has a very similar logo to Lufthansa too. Circle and bird.
There’s also the Indian airline – Kingfisher http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=kingfisher+airlines+logo
The now-defunct Highland Airways also used the bird:
Forgot to mention Austrian airlines. :)
Don’t forget North Central Airlines, with the “blue goose” or “Herman the Duck”
This is the logo of aeromexico an aztec eagle warrior
Two big omissions so far:
Cathay Pacific (wing/feather only)
And even more:
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.labairlines.com.bo/index_eng.asp)
And a few more:
Ostfriesische Lufttransport (http://www.olt.de/)
Aerolineas Argentinas (http://www.aerolineas.com.ar)
Aeormexico kind of has one (http://www.aeromexico.com)
Iran Air (http://www.iranair.com/)
Aseman Airlines (http://www.iaa.ir/)
China Eastern: http://www.chinaeastern.co.uk/
Missed a big flyer of planes that transports many people all over the world.
Some kind of winged thing.
QANTAS for the win!
Hilarious! there are a couple good ones in there though, shame about all the chaff.
China Eastern Air
How about the old BOAC logo?
You forgot the Air Koryo (JS).
Mexicana previous logo was also an eagle: http://www.christiancoquet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/mexicana_logos.png
You forgot this: http://www.icsv16.org/content/sponsorship/LOT_Logo.jpg
Yeah the bird is well overused, but the bird has always been the icon for flight, even going back hundreds of years.
The designers have obviously opted to use global iconography which I personally think can be justified – even if it is a tad boring for designers to look at.
PS: First post from a long-time lurker. Great blog right here, and a lot of nice work on your main site too.
I’d like to add Nok Air and Orient Thai Airlines from Thailand to your list — http://www.nokair.com/ and http://www.orient-thai.com/. In the case of Nok, though, they not only added it to their logo, they named the company after it! (“nok” means “bird” in Thai language).
Also: Air Niugini, http://www.airniugini.com.pg/
“Old logo”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eastern_Airlines_logo_on_plane.jpg
“More recent logo”:
I’ve opened a can of worms (the birds will be happy).
Thanks for the additional suggestions, and Jonny, for your first comment. I see you’ve launched your blog. I hope that works out well.
Portuguese SATA was recently re-designed with some some sort of origami crane.
Check what Landor designed for my country’s airline:
It sure beats everyone else on number of birds! There is a reason though: Uruguay means “river of the coloured birds” in guarani. So there you have, our planes have coloured birds on them.
(Other translations propose “river of the snails”, but Landor didn’t give them much credit).
And a hat tip to Escher, too.
Great site David!
Air China too~ http://www.airchina.com/
when I was little I was told they nicknamed it the “divine bird”
Polish airlines LOT:
Aegean Airlines’ logo actually has TWO birds!
Almost a bird in a circle: http://www.yangonair.com
Bird in a circle… as in the representation of a bird getting sucked into a jet engine…? Umm… not such a hot idea.
I like Garuda Indonesia both; the concept, and execution. clean and simple. not because i’m an Indonesian. ;)
Thk u David. Good post as usual.
Do anyone here know the significance of the Singapore Airline logo?
Wow, solidly bummed here, I just happen to be doing an aeronautics logo for a client who specifically asked for a bird as a mascot… and also remarked they LIKE simple circular logos a LOT.
So how do you keep your energy and will to invest when you are met with this kind of done-to-death challenge?
Out of 154 airline logos I found on this page (http://iamtheweather.com/weather/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/airline-logos.jpg) only 48 of them have circles. That’s only about 31%, but that thirty percent is higher than any other major geometric shape used as a unifying design element.
I like circles. I may use a circle for the logo I’m redesigning right now.
What about the companies that do not have circle-bird logos?
Virgin, Southwest, JetBlue, Continental, Delta, US Airways
Not all their logos are that great. They are just really memorable because of advertising…
There’s a perfectly good reason why so many airlines use a bird as the basis for their logos – because it is appropriate.
Kind of like using a heart in a logo wishing to express affection for something.
As someone once said, ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it’. While I like some more than others, in spite of what they have in common, with a few exceptions, they all look pretty unique.
Check Ukraine International Airlines, similar to Lufthansa:
You’ve forgotten this one:
The logo of the polish airlines “LOT” with a white stork in the middle.
One thing for sure, Landor made the Garuda Indonesia, and using the blue gradient from the depth of the ocean, simply represent Indonesia as an archipelago nation.
When I designed the Japan Air Lines logo in 1958, I wanted it to look Japanese above all else, so I chose the from an antique samurai family crest book. The red we labelled Tori red which is a happy colour in Japan. Of course, it was modified from the original for functionality. I think it stands up very well and I am quite pleased that JAL is reintroducing it.
Thanks for dropping by to share your rationale, Jerry.
You can add the Kingfisher Airlines to the list as well – http://www.flykingfisher.com/
Ask 100 designers to create a logo for a photography studio. They’ll come up with 80 stylized cameras (some of them on tripods), 10 stylized apertures (with and without flare) and 10 various stylized pieces of studio equipment (umbrellas, barndoors etc). Been there, done that.
Did Concorde have its own logo or was that just the British Airways logo?