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The Vivid And Daring Visual Identities Of Airlines During The Jet Age

We talk to Matthias C. Hühne about his new book Airline Visual Identity: 1945-1975 and why airline branding used to be so much better than it is today.

When Continental announced its sudden merger with United Airlines back in 2010, they unveiled the very vanilla visual identity that’s still in use today. The uninspired new logo—which simply stuck the United Airlines name onto Continental’s blue “whiffle ball” logo—replaced the iconic “tulip” logo designed by legend Saul Bass in 1973. It also joined the ranks of countless other airline identities that are playing it safe with competent but bland visual identities—awfully similar as a result.

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