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United Airlines The "U' Mistaken By A "tulip"  
User currently offlineUSADreamliner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17529 times:

I can't find the thread about liveries, but I want to make it clear about the "U" of united Airlines.
Why some people believe its a tulip? Any logical reason?
So, here is a little more :

The first coherent branding initiative at United was Saul Bass' corporate identity program in 1973. What Saul Bass & Associates found at United was a non-structured identity system spread throughout the company. This patchwork incoherently communicated United’s philosophy, internally and to the customers. The new service mark was comprised of a stylized red and blue "Double U" symbol as the visual focus and a custom logotype featuring modified Handel Gothic without serif letters to clearly identify the company by name. The selected colors were between the basic warm United Red in equilibrium with the cool United Blue. The famous Double U was later nicknamed "the tulip," which is unfortunate in that it disassociates the symbol with the “U” in United, reducing its positive brand equity. Saul Bass' branding was very successful in the way it unified United's image, especially in terms of logotype and the look of the aircraft. Additionally, Saul Bass' imposition of consistent design criteria to advertising and promotion campaigns is notable, as it frequently occurs the other way around. Other than the reintroduction of the word Airlines in 1979, this branding remained intact for the next 20 years. (Aerosite)



Thanks!
usadreamliner

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9585 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17455 times:

Interesting that there is debate about this. Overall I don't see a problem with United'd logo being called a Tulip. It's still one of the more recognizeable logos like American's AA and Delta's triangle.

Northwest use to have a cool logo that had both the letters N and W and also pointed towards the northwest, but they recently modified it. Continental has a logo, but it changed about 10 years ago and doesn't scream Continental. US Airways has a flag, but it is a recent logo.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAA777 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2544 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17408 times:
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Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
Northwest use to have a cool logo that had both the letters N and W and also pointed towards the northwest, but they recently modified it

They need to make the arrow more pointy. To me, it can be confused as pointing in any of the three directions of the triangle, because all three sides are the same length. That way it would look 100% like it was pointing towards the NW. To me, the new one looks more like its pointing SOUTH than it points to the NW. Probably because in the old livery, the arrow was to the left of the N. It just made more sense, IMHO. Here's a good example...



-AA777


User currently offlineCactus739 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2444 posts, RR: 31
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17372 times:

Quoting USADreamliner (Thread starter):
Why some people believe its a tulip? Any logical reason?

Maybe because it looks kinda like one? Just a thought. Damn people for having an opinion!

Quoting USADreamliner (Thread starter):
but I want to make it clear about the "U" of united Airlines

Not to be nit picky, but it's United. Not united.  spin 

 coffee 



You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17353 times:

Quoting AA777 (Reply 2):
Probably because in the old livery, the arrow was to the left of the N.

This was IMHO the best NW logo and one of the ebst in the world.
I love how the N is fused with the W and the arrow pojting Northwest

Amazing



A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
User currently offlineDavidT From Switzerland, joined Oct 2005, 477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 17308 times:



A tulip has the same overall shape and has the same overlappy effect?


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9585 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 17232 times:

Quoting DavidT (Reply 5):


A tulip has the same overall shape and has the same overlappy effect?

First of all, I never thought someone would post a picture of a flower in civil aviation.

But I do agree that the United logo does look a lot like a tulip.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1005 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 17149 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
Northwest use to have a cool logo that had both the letters N and W and also pointed towards the northwest, but they recently modified it.

I wholeheartedly agree. Although NWA's new look is an enhancement, and I like it, the "N" encircled by the globe with the arrow pointing to the northwest corner (of the globe) while also completing the "W", was truly a masterpiece of a logo. The new look is great, but the creative element is lost with the revision of the logo. Also, I don't care for how the arrow points northeast on the right side of the aircraft.

[Edited 2006-08-13 22:57:01]


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlineJamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1005 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 17043 times:

Sometime in the late 1990's, United commissioned the design firm, Pentagram to revise its logo. After extensive market research, the iconic blue and red "UU" logo was determined to be a very recognizable trademark. If I am not mistaken, I believe it was Pentagram that first coined the term "tulip" for United's logo. Upon the completion of their market research, they decided to retain the "UU" logo, but enlarge it in such a way that part of the logo was cropped, as well as slightly off centered. Shortly after that, the ensquared "tulip" began appearing on backdrops at United's ticket counters and being used in printed material. Pentagram also came up with the revised "U N I T E D", in black, replacing the prior "United Airlines" lettering in white. After 9/11 and United's bankruptcy filing, the project was put on hold some time. That is why the revised black lettering appeared on signs and printed matter, well before it was applied to aircraft exteriors.


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16927 times:

Quoting AA777 (Reply 2):
To me, the new one looks more like its pointing SOUTH than it points to the NW.

I actually got into a very heated debate about this with my Mom at DTW last Monday. She insisted that the arrow was pointing due South and no amount of logic (why would an airline named Northwest have the arrow pointing south; if it was suposed to point south, why would it be in the northwest quadrand of the circle?) could convince her otherwise.

I guess with the snide remarks the gate agents were making she thought that was the direction the airline was going.

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 7):
Although NWA's new look is an enhancement, and I like it, the "N" encircled by the globe with the arrow pointing to the northwest corner (of the globe) while also completing the "W", was truly a masterpiece of a logo.

Yeah, the simplicity and subtelty of that was amazing second only, perhaps, to the giant forward arrow in FedEx's logo.

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 7):
Also, I don't care for how the arrow points northeast on the right side of the aircraft.

Ahh... But by pointing northeast on the starboard side of the aircraft, they ensure that the arrow is never pointing backwards, or something like that.

Now wait... Wasn't Northeast Airlines bought by Delta. Aha! It's a sure sign that Northwest and Delta will merge any day now!  duck 

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 16892 times:

I have a totally different take on the United design. In the early 70's Western International Hotels were part of United. Top executives Edward Carlson and Richard Ferris both came from Western International. Rank and file workers at United did not like or trust this pair. The new symbol was the work of these two. Look carefully at the symbol, and you can see a W and a I together forms a U. As I remember the symbol first appeared in 1974.

User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 16850 times:

United's logo looks like two United U's.


"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineUSADreamliner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16413 times:

Quoting DavidT (Reply 5):


A tulip has the same overall shape and has the same overlappy effect?



Quoting Cactus739 (Reply 3):
Maybe because it looks kinda like one? Just a thought. Damn people for having an opinion!

Why an AMERICAN CARRIER would display a tulip???? Get it?

An airline from Holland or Turkey, maybe, it makes sense.

usadreamliner


User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16096 times:

For heaven's sake its a stylized U.....not a tulip...

However, I will admit that when I was in grade school (in the nmid 70s-when it was introduced) it reminded me of a bunch of red and blue bananas......LOL....

Access-Air



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineMymiles2go From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 207 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 16071 times:

Quoting USADreamliner (Reply 12):
Why an AMERICAN CARRIER would display a tulip???? Get it?

An airline from Holland or Turkey, maybe, it makes sense.

usadreamliner

Maybe I'm confused. But if people recongnize and assocaiate the 'tulip' with United Airlines, why does is it a bad thing? Branding only really matters if peopel don't know the brand. By your own admission, people know what the United 'tulip' (or "U") look like - so it seems like it's working. If it had been a peach for 35 or so years, then I'm sure people would associate a peach with United. As long as people see the 'tulip' and know it's United, then it's accomplished it's goal - hasn't it?


User currently offlineAvatordon From United States of America, joined May 2006, 239 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 16029 times:

Tulip...was an internal nickname. So was "shaded U", which was akin to "Double U". There was a lot of acrimony towards Western International hotels as, even though United technically owned them, most of the upper management at UA was former Westin (Carlson, Ferris). There was even another not-so-nice nickname about UA management at the time - "The Seattle Connection" - I think that the tulip got the name because it looked like just that - a tulip...as opposed to a flounder...  Smile

User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 15577 times:

Quoting USADreamliner (Reply 12):
Why an AMERICAN CARRIER would display a tulip???? Get it?

An airline from Holland or Turkey, maybe, it makes sense.

usadreamliner

You have wayyyyyy too much time on your hands.

I like the "U" in United. Very distinctive. People recognize it whether they know aviation or not.



This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineUSADreamliner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15268 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 16):
they know aviation or not

And I close my case.

So, if I see a fork, instead of a tulip, on THY airplanes, it's ok? right?


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Photo © Florian Kondziela



usadreamliner


User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1906 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 15180 times:

For almost 40 years, no one can mistake this logo:



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Photo © Bob Garrard


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Photo © Jorge Meneses - APM




Timeless, classic, always recognizable..no doubt who she is and where she is from.


User currently offlineDreamsUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14885 times:

I really like how there are two arguments about two different airlines (United and Northwest) and they have yet to acknowledge each others existence, if the world ran like this, there would be no wars...

Except the United symbol war...  duck 

-Josh



Do not abort a takeoff because a cockpit window pops open!
User currently offlineBroocy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14824 times:

It is funny seeing what people think of airline logos. The Qantas Kangaroo is famed for being mistaken for a rat- especially the smaller winged version from the 1970's. Some thought the Alsaka Airlines Eskimo looked like Colonel Gaddafi. (Even though he always seems to wear the blue pill-box hats of a Pan Am stewardess???)

A tulip is stylish and beautiful. There are worse things the "U" could be mistaken for.


User currently offlineDreamsUnited From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14692 times:

Quoting Broocy (Reply 20):
There are worse things the "U" could be mistaken for.

And these are?



Do not abort a takeoff because a cockpit window pops open!
User currently offlineN600RR From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14556 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 1):
Northwest use to have a cool logo that had both the letters N and W and also pointed towards the northwest

 checkmark 

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 4):
I love how the N is fused with the W and the arrow pojting Northwest

 checkmark  Agreed.

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 7):
the "N" encircled by the globe with the arrow pointing to the northwest corner (of the globe) while also completing the "W", was truly a masterpiece of a logo. The new look is great, but the creative element is lost with the revision of the logo. Also, I don't care for how the arrow points northeast on the right side of the aircraft.

 checkmark  Agreed.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 9):
Yeah, the simplicity and subtelty of that was amazing second only, perhaps, to the giant forward arrow in FedEx's logo.

 checkmark  Agreed. (I keep forgetting the arrow is there...thanks for reminding me!)

Quoting Access-Air (Reply 13):
For heaven's sake its a stylized U.....not a tulip...

 checkmark 

Quoting USADreamliner (Reply 17):
I see a fork, instead of a tulip, on THY airplanes

 checkmark  Yeah, it kinda looks like a pitchfork, or the devil's tail.



"And the fluffy white lines that the airplane leaves behind are drifting right in front of the waning of the moon" -Cake
User currently offlineVANGUARD737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 682 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 14294 times:

USADREAMLINER:

What I just don;t understand is why this is getting you so worked up? I mean it sounds as if you are personally affended by the idea of someone thinking the United U looks like a tulip. Who cares? If they think it looks like a tulip then thats their opinion. Even if they don't realize it is a U, what does it matter? I mean it is not as if because they misunderstand the logo and consequently think United is a tulip company or something....get over it :-P



320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
User currently offlineBroocy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 14232 times:

Quoting DreamsUnited (Reply 21):
And these are?

As I wrote, logos that are mistaken for flying rats or Colonel Gaddafi are pretty bad. Damage to a brand happens when people associate the logo etc with something negative, like the afore-mentioned examples.

UA really has little to worry about if people think it's U is something as pretty (and positive) as a tulip. Flowers have positive connotations so it could actually be a good thing. UA could make it a tongue-in-cheek point of difference by having vases of Tulips in the lounges, tulip pictures on menu covers or articles on tulip growing in the inflight magazines for example.

I can't see the same opportunties with rats or Colonel Gaddafi....


25 Post contains links and images UA_727 : It is so funny that this thread is currently active, because I have been talking with my fellow UA coworkers a lot lately about the "U" logo, as we ca
26 JBo : Except Saul Bass created the United logo ... and I don't believe Westin had anything to do about it.
27 Acyyc : Has anyone else noticed that on some Northwest planes the logo points Northeast (if it were a map)? How could they let that slip? Arrgghh!
28 Post contains images Ordryan28 : this is because the way the human eye recognizes things. we see, comprehend, alnalyze. when we see this triangle we see it in a vertical format, so,
29 Ordryan28 : how about this... if you look at it and say it's a tulip, by-golly it's a tulip. if you think it's two "U's" united as one...then it is. if you think
30 Post contains images Jamake1 : It is interesting that you mention this. I have never perceived the new tail logo in this way. It just goes to show how humans perceive things differ
31 Christao17 : Maybe it is sometimes called a tulip for the same reason some people referred to the old Continental logo as the meatball? It's just a nickname. Relax
32 AY104 : That is exactly what I have always thought. Regardless, I always thought it was an effective logo. Cheers, AY104
33 USADreamliner : Maybe because I'm studying design? Maybe because I do care about the impact of a design on the public? I don't know, maybe I should change and live a
34 Springbok295 : After 40 years AA are in dire need of an extreme makeover....
35 N353SK : I guess you haven't noticed then that NW purposely did that so every little triangle points towards the front of the tail.
36 Boston92 : Why the hell would their logo be a tulip?
37 Rikkus67 : Regardless of how a person interprets United's "U", I must agree that by cropping the "U", the effectiveness of the logo is lost. It is too bad that U
38 Post contains links and images VANGUARD737 : LOL...I wouldn't be surprised if you die by 30 from a heart attack. You are seriously like foaming at the mouth. You say you are studying design...we
39 Jamake1 : I couldn't agree more. It is outdated and style-less. (Hmmm...I suppose the name fits...).
40 Post contains images Boston92 : All it needs is a star at the top, but don't kill me if I use a star and you use an angel. We humans can't be diverse or different in any way
41 United787 : As a landscape architect, I never thought my career would collide with my obsession, I am so happy it has, and now with my favorite airline! The old
42 Azstagecoach : I don't see it. Was the arrow part of the old livery?
44 Ordryan28 : nope. it's on their current livery. i just realized there was an arrow there recently. it's white.
45 Gr8Circle : Only after reading this thread I realised that the NW logo is supposed to contain a traingular pointer pointing north-west.....
46 Cactus739 : I still don't understand your problem. I have a solution....get out more.. Seriously.
47 Rampart : I think the same for TAP's new logo on the tail. Use of "negative space" is the new design fad, I think. Can't see the T-A-P unless you are very lite
48 YULWinterSkies : I've never seen a tulip in the U, but I wonder about the U itself too... Although their new livery is kinda cool, I think the U is hard to see... Good
49 Jamake1 : I was having dinner last night with a good friend of mine who is a partner in a prominent architectual and design firm in San Francisco. He's a United
50 Post contains links and images N600RR : It's one of those visual tricks that isn't obvious immediately. If you look the the photo and focus on the white space between the 'E' and the 'x', y
51 Post contains links Lincoln : Wandering slightly off topic here... A few months ago I stumbled across an interview with Lindon Leader, the gentleman who designed the current FedEx
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