FRIDAY 18 JAN 2013 10:32 AM


It has been flying the friendly skies for 83 years and has been known by its now former branding for 46 of them. American Airlines’ has announced that its retro look will be replaced with a new identity designed by the aptly-named Futurebrand.

The rebrand comes at a time when American is adding new planes to its fleet and exploring a merger with popular liner US Airways. The impetus to rebrand arose in 2011 when American announced its purchase of hundreds of new Boeing and Airbus planes that would be incapable of featuring the patented raw silver colour of the airline’s livery.

Futurebrand says, “Recognizing that it was time for a new look to better reflect the progress it had made in the ongoing modernization of the airline, American engaged FutureBrand to partner on the modernization of the logo, livery and overall look and feel of the customer experience.”

The AA and eagle will be replaced by a ‘flight symbol’, or a coalescing of a number of visual icons into one logo. The planes’ tails will feature one of the more prominent tributes to the American flag to take to the skies.

Some critics have deplored the marginalisation of a now-classic vintage design that harkens back to the golden age of flight. The airline itself hopes that the rebrand will also serve to refresh the perception of the company in the minds of travelers. The iconic eagle with wings raised in flight has featured on all of American’s logos since 1934. This will be the company’s first identity that eliminates the full-body image of the nation’s national bird.