Posted by Abe Sauer on September 20, 2010 03:00 PM
The new Skyrider "saddle seats" recently unveiled to increase seat space on airplanes aren't the only overhaul in the airline industry. Airbus has unveiled a new logo. At least Airbus claims to have unveiled a new logo; it's hard to tell. Take a look and tell us what you think.
In a press release sent Friday, Airbus says of the brand's first logo update since 1969, "[It] retains the original ball-shaped symbol that denotes its expertise as world-leading aircraft manufacturer, while incorporating the modernised typeface adopted by the company’s EADS corporate parent."
Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders added, "We have retained many of our logo’s original features – such as the iconic ball and the deep blue that characterise Airbus and which have helped build the brand into a global household name."
He wasn't kidding. The new logo (above left) has dumped the old jumbo-jet fatness for a razor-edged sharpness. Where the old logo's typeface appeared painted with a wide brush, the new logo is cut with a laser. The "iconic ball" (representing the unification of Airbus’ founding companies) has undergone the hyper-popular W Hotels makeover, giving it some moody shadows and an avant-garde modernity. The new logo will be phased in over the next few months.
It's unlikely that many outside the branding industry will make note of the redesign. While the Airbus press release calls it a "rebrand," the logo change doesn't go hand in hand with any major rebrand or restructuring or redirecting or messaging. It's just a new logo, and not even that new; the equivalent of going from pleated kakis to flat-fronts. The true news involving Airbus is that its ugly ongoing battle with Boeing over subsidies appears to be never-ending.
If Airbus really wants to make a splash for its brand, the manufacturer should introduce a walk-through prototype of the transparent passenger planes Airbus has teased us about.