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"Project Soar" Rejected AA Branding Alternative  
User currently offlineIndependence76 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 238 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9342 times:

Hello.

I want to first mention that this was an independent production completely unassociated with FutureBrand or any other department in AA. I made this branding alternative in October due to fears of marketing appeal of AA to be ignored in favor of branding that would hurt the airline's image.

It was passed on to executive management as soon as it was completed, and it was reviewed thereafter. Due to FutureBrand being commissioned a month and a half earlier, my chances were slim, but not impossible. I was not asking for a single cent.

As requested, it got sent down to marketing within 2 weeks and the marketing executives promptly reviewed it as well. After a series of emails and a phone call, it was called "very impressive" by the marketing department and they were interested in discussing a few ideas, but none ever materialized.


I was never planning on releasing any of the documents publicly, but I feel the time is right due to the negative responses a lot of people have given about the new branding. To my knowledge, this does not hurt any of my chances of being an official employee in the future. This was an independent and non-copyrighted production in which AMR does not currently own.

My motivation behind posting this is not one of personal reservations or malicious intent. It is merely to not only showcase my ideas for public feedback, but to allow an interesting look at a branding system that was unused (I have personally always found such things interesting).

A number of pages containing marketing strategies and technology implementation techniques have been removed due to potential usage in the future as well as to protect sensitive intellectual property.

Album is here:

http://imgur.com/a/mwEiY



Any comments, criticisms, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


"In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." - John Ruskin
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9226 times:

I like the red or blue versions, but not both on the same a/c. Maybe it would have been better with one plane red and another blue.....OR, a blue tail with a red font or vice versa. The eagle logo is much better than what they came up with. The silver metallic paint is much better than the battleship grey they seemed to have settled on.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinetimpdx From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 534 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9152 times:

impressive. I work in graphics for a major broadcaster and think that you did a heck of a job given you were not asking for a penny. very nice presentation. like the solid simple livery. like the double sided color scheme. I dont find the futurebrand design terrible like most a- netters seem to. but it is far from perfect, imo the futurebrand scheme only works on the 77W and scales poorly to the smaller frames. your proposal is superior in it scalability. Overall, I consider your proposal a bit superior to what AA is going with. Great job.

User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 579 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9023 times:

Hi Independence76,

What a nice presentation! As others have mentioned, I find it impressive that you put this together without a single cent being paid. Your work shows a complex depth of thought and a real passion for what you are doing.

I like your proposal, especially the elements of typography and the different colors and patterns used on the seats. My personal favorite is the "Astrophysics" seat; it's clean and modern looking, but doesn't overpower the cabin with one specific color. The neutrality of black and the effervescence of white are both retained, and they complement each other quite nicely IMO. I also like the domestic first seat with the "few and far between lines." Bravo.

I must confess that I am not a huge fan of your proposed liveries. I like some of the special liveries (namely the Susan G. Komen variant), as well as the white AmericanEagle outfit. However, the two-sided blue/red livery is simply too simplistic for my taste - there's something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. This is just my taste, though, and not a reflection of your work overall.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineIndependence76 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9001 times:

Quoting timpdx (Reply 2):
I dont find the futurebrand design terrible like most a- netters seem to. but it is far from perfect, imo the futurebrand scheme only works on the 77W and scales poorly to the smaller frames.

I do admit that I thought it was "absolutely dreadful" in the first hour, but after seeing some of the banners up for the event, parts of it warmed on me. It wasn't a "botched rebranding" in my book, but it's not as sound as our previous livery.

I spoke to the lead designers from FutureBrand on Thursday about it and I wasn't given many answers to what few questions I had. I felt like they didn't have the passion that I would have expected, although there's not much to support my opinion of that.

My main complaints of the new branding from a design/marketing perspective:

- The new eagle logo is actually very good, but it's very awkward once you notice the blue top disconnected.
- The new font and typeface chosen are very good, but not only are letters like "e" and "b" in the font rather awkward in appearance, but it will unnecessarily cost millions to implement this look in Chapter 11.
- The tail is the Achilles' heel of the livery. Everything is up to a reasonable standard until that part. I've been toying with airline liveries since I was 6 or 7 and one of the first things I began to realize is that putting the American flag as a centerpiece on a livery for a US airline is one of the most stereotypical and predictable design elements you could ever implement. The cost of maintenance on this detailed decal system will likely be unnecessarily high.



"In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." - John Ruskin
User currently offlineushermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2965 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 8840 times:

I like the economy seat design the best. Especially the Code Red and Astrophysics.
Good job.



Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1556 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8657 times:

I really love each side of the tail being painted a different color. It brings a bit of the old logo into play, with the AA being red and blue. I think you were onto something here!

User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8657 times:

Impressive presentation and I applaud you for having the initiative to act on an idea. It strongly reminds me of when I did a proposal for AS a few years ago and sent it off to them. Don't lose that ambition, truly such qualities are too rare these days.

However, I must be honest and say that while I think the interior concepts are interesting, I strongly dislike your livery proposal for numerous reasons. In addition, at least for our eyes I don't feel there's enough context to make this an effective proposal. What would the ticket counters and gate podiums look like? Mileage plan cards? Advertisements? Without that, it's difficult to get a gauge of how this brand would function.

Please do not take this critique personally, I can tell you're a talented designer, I just don't think, given what you've handed us, this is a good direction to take the AA brand. For this analysis I'm going to focus on the exterior livery design, since that's what I specialize in and also because that's probably the greater indication over how the rest of the brand would feel. Here are my reasons:

- The hues of red and blue are not particularly flattering to my eyes, especially when combined with silver. This might just be an issue with the way it's presented vs. how it would actually look in real life, but as presented it isn't visually pretty to me.

- I feel there's a great deal of potential to create a more visually exciting livery that could be just as simple and cost effective as the one you put forth.

- I think the all-red and silver option feels too visually aggressive. It doesn't feel approachable or friendly.

- In this livery context, I feel white would be by far a better option than NWA silver. It's significantly less expensive to maintain, it ages far better, it saves on weight, and visually with those colors I think it would look better.

- The rationale of painting both sides of the aircraft different colors as a cost-effective way of having a multi-colored fleet sounds good, but in actuality it doesn't make sense -- what you offer, half and half, would be more expensive and complicated than all-red on one and all-blue on another.

- I think the Braniff reference hurts your proposal. I don't think you further your cause by offering a design and comparing it to an airline that no longer exists.

- While Helvetica is a timeless typeface, I just don't think it works as a billboard title.

- The bottom line -- I feel the livery as well as the overall feel of what you've presented, frankly lacks energy to me, nor does it visually achieve the goal of a fresh, modern AA. I get a sense like it's a step back from their previous livery which, in my opinion, needed a change with greater impact.

But remember, this is just my personal opinion, and I offer it to try and help. Nothing I say is personal nor do I mean anything as an attack on you as a designer. I think you're doing very good with how much care you've put into this. For me it's always interesting to look at a very carefully crafted proposal that somebody put a great deal of time and effort in which you clearly did here, and I hope that my feedback can help in some way.



[Edited 2013-01-19 23:19:17]

User currently offlineFSXJunkie From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8623 times:

The livery looks good, but an asymmetrical paint scheme is just too unconventional, if the tail was a mix of red and blue with the eagle's beak/body as the dividing line it'd have more character and still be tasteful

I do like the color code concept for special liveries, OneWorld = Blue, Breast Cancer = Pink, Flagship = Yellow, and Eco = Green.

Your eagle logo is also very good, it's dynamic and modern while still being faithful to the previous eagle insignia and clearly marks "this is an American Airlines Plane."


User currently offlineIndependence76 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8553 times:

Quoting Airport (Reply 7):
But remember, this is just my personal opinion, and I offer it to try and help. Nothing I say is personal nor do I mean anything as an attack on you as a designer. I think you're doing very good with how much care you've put into this. For me it's always interesting to look at a very carefully crafted proposal that somebody put a great deal of time and effort in which you clearly did here, and I hope that my feedback can help in some way.

I don't take any of it offensively, no. The livery was merely conceptual and if I honestly had my way, I don't think I would have changed anything about the 1968 livery other than the tail (change the AA to simply a blue/red eagle logo).

The blue and red shades were mainly to work better on the Resume paper I printed them out on, so I apologize for the shade they appear with in the album above.

I also tried the white combination when I was developing the concept and I have to say that white on my AA livery did indeed look better (but I left it out for traditionalism purposes).


My most-desired proposal in the documents was the cabin design. I understand that I did not explore upon safety cards or check-in desks, but that was for future exploration in the event AA management seriously considered consulting me for brand design (which didn't happen).



"In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes." - John Ruskin
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8542 times:

Don't really care for much of the liveries you had. Kind of boring compared to the one chosen (which by the way is no winner either...)

That being said, I LOVED all variations of your seat colors. Sleek, simple, but tasteful. Nicely done on those! The black/"color of choice" and small logo were eye-catching.

I give you credit for throwing your stuff out like that into the public realm.



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 8137 times:

I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed with AA decision. However, I am really impressed with your presentation and it's quite interesting with your work. I'm sure you will be a good professional design consultant one day.

I have to say that I have agreed with others about livery. It looks like there's something missing or not right on the livery - maybe you could add white line around it. It is not really eye-catching though.

I do love your seat decorations- it's beautiful and professional. Everybody up there also say the same things. Well done!

There're still lots of things to do - you haven't mentioned about AA's trademark font, right colors for the AA logo and livery, check-in desk, advertisement, stands, tickets paper, banners, website, cars, tags and lists go on.

Please do not expect that you know so much about design and marketing or you're better than others. There are still lots of things to learn about it. You may have to go to college to learn more about graphic design and other design courses. It will help you to gain more experience and understand how the design work and how it looks make-sense. Good luck!

[Edited 2013-01-20 01:59:36]


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1347 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

I have to say that your "Greenhouse" & "Italiano" seat designs look great for Y Class.


Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7021 times:

What a shame it wasn't accepted. So much better than the one they have now.


"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4387 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6792 times:

While 100 times better than the unbelievable junk scheme they have now, still too similar to Qantas and not symbolizing American. I still prefer the old one.

User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6681 times:

Really nice presentation, though I must say im not really a fan of the livery you presented, Something about it just doesn't seem right to me but thats just my opinion, though I loved the seat designs! Well done.


Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5846 times:

I believe the old livery was fine, however if they wanted to update it I think they should have done something less radical. I like your livery better than what they produced since you kept the eagle which is what made American's brand so recognizable. I agree with the poster above that something is missing. I am impressed with your presentation.

User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 499 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 14):
While 100 times better than the unbelievable junk scheme they have now, still too similar to Qantas and not symbolizing American. I still prefer the old one.

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on it. The only thing I like about what American adopted was the red/blue stripe with the eagle's beak in the middle. As for this design I thought American in one color and the tail in another would have looked better but not enough to overcome the objections above. Good work though and by all means keep at it. You never know who might see your work and want to commission you.


User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 848 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5565 times:

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 4):
The cost of maintenance

That was the first thing I thought of, when I looked at that tail. How high maintenance that was going to be. I feel that your presentation offered a much lower cost. My guess is the people making the decision, got wrapped up in the excitement of looking for a big splash, to come out of BK. And did not take a long view approach to cost of upkeep. Oh well we will see how long this scheme last. Will it be like DL in the 90's? That one was awful.

JD CRP



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offlinejrosa From Brazil, joined Jun 2005, 367 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4641 times:

Impressive! Very good job. In my opinion the livery scheme is way beyond and far superior the one adopted by AA. The US flag in the tail is poor and can work as a strong anti-marketing tool in other countries.

Great job and thanks for sharing!


User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
To my knowledge, this does not hurt any of my chances of being an official employee in the future. This was an independent and non-copyrighted production in which AMR does not currently own.

AA Legal and HR may not be too pleased that you published copyrighted materials containing the AA name and logo. I'd be willing to bet that this violates AA social media policy.

This will be viewed less than favorably by AA management. In the eyes of AA management, you have demonstrated a lack of good judgment in making your decision to publish this document.

If you are a current AA employee, your employment agreement likely contains language similar to that used by most major corporations. That language specifies that your employer owns any/all of your company-related ideas, proposals, or inventions which you may create, design or discover during the course of your employment.

Time will tell, but at best this may end up being a career-limiting move on your part. At worst, it could be a career ending move. Just saying.....


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3760 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 20):

AA Legal and HR may not be too pleased that you published copyrighted materials containing the AA name and logo. I'd be willing to bet that this violates AA social media policy.

This will be viewed less than favorably by AA management. In the eyes of AA management, you have demonstrated a lack of good judgment in making your decision to publish this document.

If you are a current AA employee, your employment agreement likely contains language similar to that used by most major corporations. That language specifies that your employer owns any/all of your company-related ideas, proposals, or inventions which you may create, design or discover during the course of your employment.

Time will tell, but at best this may end up being a career-limiting move on your part. At worst, it could be a career ending move. Just saying.....

I think you missed this part......

Quoting Independence76 (Thread starter):
To my knowledge, this does not hurt any of my chances of being an official employee in the future.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinerlwynn From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 1075 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3719 times:

I kind if have a question about you labeling it a rejected proposal. AA did not ask for proposals. You do not work for them. it was for sure never even considered.


I can drive faster than you
User currently offlinemartinrpo1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3581 times:

That is ugly. I hate that proposal. It has a complete lack of imagination. The only thing I like are the different interiors.

User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 21):
I think you missed this part......

Yes, I did see that part of his post, but the reality is that what he believes or understands doesn't change whatever AA policy specifies.


User currently offlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1077 posts, RR: 7
Reply 25, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

First the positive - in general, I think your effort is much better than what they went with. It's more of what I would have expected; a refinement keeping the traditional Eagle.

But your opening statement came across as either grossly uninformed or patronizing. To paraphase - American Airlines brand has gone in the last 30 years from a small carrier to a giant in the airline industry.

I'm not sure what you meant here, but American has been one of the largest airlines in the world since the 1940s. I was the largest airline in the U.S. from the early 1940s till the 1961 United/ Capital merger, regaining the top slot in the mid-1980s.
I don't even work for AA, and I found it off-putting.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 26, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3475 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 24):
Yes, I did see that part of his post, but the reality is that what he believes or understands doesn't change whatever AA policy specifies.

But what I gathered from what he said is that he is NOT currently an AA employee. He submitted this proposal freely and on his own with no compensation. Seems like AA would have NO control over that.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFI642 From Monaco, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

If it's not broke, don't fix it. I wish AA had stayed with their current livery.
I wish DL would go back to their classic livery. All these white fuselages
are boring. I'm not saying we need a new BN (although that would be
amazing)- but someone please please please show some creativity!



737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3040 posts, RR: 1
Reply 28, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2752 times:

Quoting FI642 (Reply 27):

If it's not broke, don't fix it. I wish AA had stayed with their current livery.

However, one could claim the livery was broke, as it could not be fitted onto newer largely composite aircraft like the A320 and 787. It is far better for an airline to have a consistent livery, not one that differs from aircraft types to others.

As for the proposal, I like the interior ideas, specifically the italiano colour mix. As for the livery, I do like the idea of using the different colours for special liveries (breast cancer, oneworld, etc.). Different solid colours to the usual do make heads turn. However, I actually like the livery American chose, and would choose that ahead of it, even if my opinion differs significantly for most here (I still believe it will grow on people and become popular).

I think AA would have gotten many complaints no matter what they chose, as the former livery was the identity for AA and how everyone remembers AA.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2711 posts, RR: 4
Reply 29, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2680 times:

I think yours is really great. I prefer it to that which was announced easily.


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 2998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 30, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 12):
What a shame it wasn't accepted. So much better than the one they have now.

Agreed. I like this guy's work better than what AA is adopting.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 14):
I still prefer the old one.

Even better. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. AA's 45 year old livery is classic. Like AS's livery, I see don't see why it HAS to be changed.

Actually, I like AA's old 1960s orange livery the best.


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