American’s new retro logo

I don’t really care all that much about company logos. Very few are truly inspiring to me. So the hullabaloo about American Airlines announcing a new logo this morning isn’t all that exciting to me. I do find it quite entertaining that someone managed to find the new logo on their website more than an hour before they intended it to go public, though I’m also impressed that it managed to stay secret that long.


More entertaining to me, however, is the reminder that there really is nothing new in the world; everything is a derivative work of some sort. Even a brand new logo. Check out the old United Friend Ship logo (now currently on an A320):


Definitely not identical, but some striking similarities. Amazing what the shadow rendering in modern computers can do to a simple two-tone logo, huh?

Like I said above, I don’t really care all that much one way or the other on the new logo. I don’t consider it especially inspiring or special, but maybe that’s because it is brand new. Perhaps it will grow on me. Like a fungus. What do you think? Amazing, boring or who cares??

Also, props to David for noting the similarity to the old UA version.

UPDATE: It seems that the "ribbon" of the logo is not destined for the tail, where it would look decent enough. Instead the tail will be a flag pattern. Here’s a peek from

I’m shifting my position from neutral to sell.

Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.

Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. zzzzzzzz. A logo should be the reflection of the brand proposition. I’d be more interested in understanding what their brand stands for.

  2. I’m with New Girl. Is this logo a critical part of their strategy to become profitable? It seems like a bunch a hullabaloo to the district me from the issue I’m really interested in – the merger and the future of Aadvantage.

  3. rebranding is a greatt way to re-market things and set away from the past. However, their new logo is horrible. When you look at a brand logo, you should get a sense of what it is and who they are. This new logo doesn’t capture that at all. Fire whoever decided to use this.

  4. it’s interesting only if they start painting the planes in white instead of leaving half the plane in exposed metal like in the 70s

  5. Just added another shot, now including the tail. I’m not a fan of that at all.

    As for painting the planes, Peterson, they have to. The 787s are not aluminum so they have to have something that can be painted.

  6. need better service before the rest of this…

    I think DL did the best job of new livery. Not a huge fan of the AA one. The logo is nice, the big AMERICAN tiles are nice, but the tail is pretty bad, and the grey is so depressing. Hopefully US can fix it post-merger? hahaha

  7. The outside of the planes may be a symbol of a new rebranding but the insides still maintain the 65 yr old bitter FA’s that will be a symbol of what the AA brand still stands for….

  8. The flag tail reminds me of another airline with a flag on it’s tail. Let’s not read TOO much into this, but it might be a pre-position piece.

  9. pretty non-eventful… logo looks childish to me. Another marketing failure. AA hyped it up and then failed to deliver. If they had just said, new logo, here it is, it would have been fine. This is just more American (culture not airline) BS… lipstick on a pig kind of thing

  10. I don’t like the tail on the new logo. I think it would look better with the AA in the red, white and blue and kind of interlocked on a silver background.

  11. You think they would wait until after the merger to rebrand. It would save trouble and money I would think.

  12. Not a big fan of the livery…. Weaker than any other US legacy – not that any of them are too attractive.

Comments are closed.