United and Continental Airlines merged recently. The new brand recently announced a “new” logo, although the “new” is just pieces of the old ones.
The “new” logo looks old and tired. In my opinion, United’s old logo was better than Continental’s. The Continental logo – and the new merged United logo – looks plan and conservative. It is one color. Simple shapes and design. Airlines are about speed and movement and wonder. [For a related analysis, see my post about Acela train logo here.] The “new” United logo says nothing new. Now that may indeed be part of the plan – to show consumers thatit is business as usual and the merger results in no big changes to flyers. But if I were presented with the opportunity to refresh or update such a boring plain old logo, as United did here, I would go for something more colorful, more fresh, and more youthful.
The new breed of airline competitors is younger and fresher. And their logos are much more interesting. See Virgin America, JetBlue, and other logos below. United, intentionally or not, looks like their grandfather.