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United Airlines Colors  
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15903 times:

Can someone tell me all the names of UA's color schemes and yeas introduced?

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24061 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15502 times:

UA's major livery changes below. There may have been a few other minor adjustments over the years which some UA experts can add

February 2004


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Photo © Manas Barooah




January 1993


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Photo © Manas Barooah




September 1974


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Photo © Andy kennaugh




Sometime in early 1970s (don't have a date), frequently called the "Four Star" livery for obvious reasons. Not a major change from the previous design and I don't think it ever appeared on the entire UA fleet before the 1974 livery above was introduced.


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Photo © Burger Collection



Basic late 1950s livery with new font, much wider red stripe on lower fuselage and other minor changes. Not sure when this design was introduced but don't believe it ever appeared on the entire fleet.


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



Late 1950s livery. At some point in the mid-1960s the "slash" and UA crest in front of the name on the fuselage was deleted as in the 3rd and 4th photos below. The United name was also moved further forward (at least on the 727-100, apparently not on the Caravelle.)


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Photo © David Schulman
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Photo © Burger Collection



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Photo © Bill Armstrong
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Photo © George W. Hamlin



Previous livery, probably introduced around 1950 or thereabouts.


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Photo © Bill Armstrong



Although some Convair 340s were still in UA service until the late 1960s, they kept that basic livery until they were retired, with minor changes like the fuselage crest below the cockpit.


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Photo © Bill Armstrong
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Photo © Hans Melin



1940s livery


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Photo © Terry Wall


[Edited 2008-11-08 18:40:30]

User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15466 times:

awesome thanks.................

User currently offlineAAH732UAL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 15445 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
There may have been a few other minor adjustments over the years which some UA experts can add

January 1993 was actually the introduction of the very dark, almost black, grey. After a while it was lightened to the current shad you see today. I know all the new 757s from around 1996 came standard with the light grey colors.

Also to original Blue, Orange, Red, and White livery had very small titles. This was changed I think in the mid 80s...... maybe around the time the first 757s came on line.

[Edited 2008-11-08 19:00:25]

User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2793 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 14967 times:
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the "tulip" U was designed by Saul Bass around 1979 or 1980. Saul Bass was a famous graphic designer of the era. He was most famous for movie titles and did a lot of work for Alfred Hitchcock. his most famous titles design was for the movie Veritgo. The Saul Bass "tulip" lives today. He also created the cheat lines in red, blue and magenta which were meant to evoke the sunset from the air. He also is credited with the carpet sculpture (red, orange, blue and pink) used on the bulkheads that one can still find today on a 767 etc. Again, inspired by the colors of a sunset as seen from an airplane window.
It was designed to reflect the airline's tag line of "fly the friendly skies"

it was changed in the early 1990's to the dark grey scheme by the CEO Wolfe. He wanted UA to look more like air force one. The agency that did it was called RKA if memory serves. it was a design firm that wasnt around too long and consisted among others of ex Landor people. People from Landor who were not allowed to touch airline programs at Landor and they wanted to prove they could do airline branding programs. Landor senior management was rightly so....It was deemed a total disaster upon launch as it made the planes blend into the tarmac. the tower control people said it adversely effected identification of UA aircraft in bad weather and had trouble seeing them since they were painted the same color as tar. Not good huh!
The new livery was created by Pentagram- a rather good design firm, that retained Saul Bass' tulip U. However, it's hard to find United on Pentagram's website. the only thing they seem to want to feature is the design of the new biz and first seats.



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlinePylon101 From Russia, joined Feb 2008, 1392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 13976 times:

But U.S.Air had - and still has on most a/c - completely black livery.
And I never heard of complaints from tower people.

From my point of view the 1993 livery was outstanding.
It had style, it's unique and somehow intriguing.

Aeroflot present livery (great one!) definitely took a lot from 1993 UA livery.


User currently offlineLandingshortly From Austria, joined Jan 2008, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 13528 times:



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
The new livery was created by Pentagram- a rather good design firm, that retained Saul Bass' tulip U. However, it's hard to find United on Pentagram's website. the only thing they seem to want to feature is the design of the new biz and first seats.

Correct.

The new United livery was created by Michael Bierut, partner of the New York branch office of Pentagram. In fact, it's not only the livery that he created but the whole new corporate identity itself. I love it very much and seriously, it improved my view of United somehow.

I am a semi-pro graphics designer and I am totally into everything design. I got this book "Visual Communication" by Jonathan Baldwin and Lucienne Roberts that has a whole chapter of the new United livery in it. Great stuff.

http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-michaelbierut

Enjoy! I know, I do.  Smile



Singapore Airlines - you're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineRikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1577 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 13363 times:



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
The Saul Bass "tulip" lives today. He also created the cheat lines in red, blue and magenta which were meant to evoke the sunset from the air.



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
The agency that did it was called RKA if memory serves.

What hasn't been mentioned is that the 3 stripes from the Saul Bass design were incorporated into the RKA design. Unless viewed up close, they often look like one solid red stripe...

"Saul" nose

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Photo © Wolodymir Nelowkin



RKA nose (note stripe colours)

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Photo © Benjamin H.W.




AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlineRightrudder From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 13011 times:

United Airlines Boeing Model 80

Circa 1930's Livery




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Photo © Jason Pineau
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Photo © Bruce Leibowitz



[Edited 2008-11-09 04:17:08]


"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana".
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24061 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 11520 times:



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
the "tulip" U was designed by Saul Bass around 1979 or 1980.

It was much earlier than that. That livery was launched in September 1974. Following from the history timeline in the UA website.

United in 1973 commissioned Los Angeles designer Saul Bass to develop a contemporary logo conveying leadership and innovation in air travel. It featured a stylized red and blue "U" symbol and the use of orange, red and blue stripes. Guidelines were established to ensure the consistent appearance of the logo in all applications.


User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2225 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 11430 times:

I believe this was a rumor, or maybe just not even true, but I heard one of the factors into the change of the "Darth Vader" scheme was because of 9/11 when everyone saw their colors/image going into the World Trade Center. I do not know if its 100% accurate so please don't flame me if I am wrong...


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineAdambrau From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 11148 times:

Interesting that the late 1950's bold United font on the fuselage looks similar to the on used today!

User currently offlineRwy04LGA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3115 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 11099 times:

Flicker between the first two photos.


Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1350 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 10935 times:



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
the "tulip" U was designed by Saul Bass around 1979 or 1980. Saul Bass was a famous graphic designer of the era.

The tulip logo is older than that, I think -- though maybe not as old as the poster above suggests. (We could try a photo archives search, but I'm feeling lazy.)

Also, I'm surprised you dislike the grey scheme so much (maybe some in-house politics at Landor!) It was a tad too dark on top, but it was better than the current look. The feathered tulip is nice, but all that blue... what a bore.


From my book....

"...From spring 2004 United starts phasing out its dusky gray. In comes a cheerful new blueprint -- and we do mean blueprint -- aimed to coincide with a summertime exit from bankruptcy. The carrier's emblem -- the flowering, four-petaled U -- is dashing as an abstract, truncated feather riding the tail. All it lacks is some garnish -- a red highlight or two. The preponderance of blue gives the plane a vaguely unfinished look. And while bolder and more upbeat, gone is the understated grace of its precursor. There was something demonstrably civilized about the fully spelled 'United Airlines' on the side of every plane, now snipped of its overtones to a lackadaisical 'United.'..."



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineRwy04LGA From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3115 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10820 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 13):
The tulip logo is older than that, I think

I first saw it in December 1977, so at least that old.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 862 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10819 times:

When was the first 757 repainted in the 2004 livery, and what was the registration? (I flew one in August of 2004 and am curious if I was on the first, or one of the first, repainted 757s). Did the repainting correspond with any interior upgrades?


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineRichiemo From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 10752 times:

Yes, tulip UA logo dates back to at least fall '77. Remember seeing it on my first ever flight to BHM in Sept '77 and thinking how modern it looked. I cannot yet get used to this new livery. I find it over the top. I love blues, but this is too much, like a bad pastel painting. And the black United font doesn't match, looks like it was a plane they purchased from another carrier and they just threw the United name on it. Granted, I didn't lik the grey when it came out either in the early 90's, but came to love it. Sometime liveries have to grow on you. Maybe this will. But between this new one and Delta's disappointingly boring new livery, I find the foreign liveries to be the best out there now.

User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2793 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10658 times:
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Well i was guessing about the year of launch of the Saul Bass tulip. It was the late 70's im pretty sure. As for Landor in fighting, i think we all just felt that the new gray was sad looking for the brand that was all about "friendly". We had heard the rumors about the air traffic controllers later via our other airline clients.
RKA was not a design firm as much as it was an agency that was created to capitalize on the new "digital" age. An airline livery was not what they had touted as their core mission. Although who would pass up an opportunity to redesign UA!?

Personally, and this is all subjective, i didn't like the grey scheme at all. i did in fact love the tail design with the blue on blue stripes.

Although i think there could have been a better design than the current Pentagram design, it's not bad in my opinion. It's one of the better liveries from any US carrier. I had always hoped that UA would be the US airline that was the "Singapore" of the USA and feel it could have been more upscale.



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineXtoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 952 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10628 times:

I thought the dark UA colors were pretty cool at first, for some reason it made me think boldness and power, and it didn't look cheesy. I do like the new colors, but yeah, the black lettering does kill the theme. TED of course did the same thing, but with yellow and that really looks crappy IMHO.

Also, about the same time UA started to change their livery, they also had those animated commercials. I thought they were pretty annoying, but clever in a way. I think there was even a tulip involved that the "business" traveller gave to his wife or some chick. At least we can still see both paint schemes on UA planes, and I still see planes with TED colors out here in DEN.



EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10511 times:



Quoting AAH732UAL (Reply 3):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
There may have been a few other minor adjustments over the years which some UA experts can add

January 1993 was actually the introduction of the very dark, almost black, grey. After a while it was lightened to the current shad you see today. I know all the new 757s from around 1996 came standard with the light grey colors.

The dark grey was lightened because of fading issues with the paint. I remember seeing two B727-200s in TPA side by side and one had the lighter shade.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24061 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10143 times:



Quoting Richiemo (Reply 16):
Yes, tulip UA logo dates back to at least fall '77. Remember seeing it on my first ever flight to BHM in Sept '77 and thinking how modern it looked.



Quoting VC10er (Reply 17):
Well i was guessing about the year of launch of the Saul Bass tulip. It was the late 70's im pretty sure.

As mentioned in Reply 9 (quoting UA's website history timeline) the Saul Bass design was officially launched in September 1974. Following photos dated 1975 and 1976.


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Photo © Ken Rose
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Photo © M.Oertle



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Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff
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Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff



User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2793 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9898 times:
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Quoting Pylon101 (Reply 5):
But U.S.Air had - and still has on most a/c - completely black livery.
And I never heard of complaints from tower people.

i think the tower can actually see the black of the old US Airways. It's the medium grey of UA
which is hard to spot on a grey day. It matches the tarmac perfectly. Who ever designed it should be doing camouflage for the air-force. Now that you mention it, I'm sorry to say that the absolute worst livery in the world is the new US Airway's livery that is a combo of the old livery and the America West livery. It's so disgusting that it blows my mind. What a mess!!!!

As for Viscount 724's shots of UA's Saul Bass' livery, totally amazing. Very 70's yes, but so beautiful. I love United.



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineMilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1941 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9808 times:

The 1962 photo of the Caravelle VIR above at PHL shows the Caravelle in its delivery scheme with the pre-Capital merger United Shield, which was also part of the original DC-8 and B-720 scheme. The 727 picture next to the Caravelle photo shows the United post Capital merger shield, which on the original 727 delivery scheme was place in a break in the cheatline. The 727 at the Museum of Science and Industry is in the delivery scheme. This color scheme was introduced in 1958 and some DC-7's were delivered in it, and it was applied to DC-6, DC-6B's, DC-7's and Capital's Viscounts, but not to the 20 or so Convairs that were retained for West Coast services, which retained a simplifed version of the 1946 Mainliner scheme, (introduced with the DC-6 without the white crown which was added in about 1950) although the blue color was changed. During the 1960's, diffrent shades of blue were utilized on all aircraft.

[Edited 2008-11-10 22:31:46]

User currently offlineN174UA From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 9784 times:



Quoting VC10er (Reply 4):
it was changed in the early 1990's to the dark grey scheme by the CEO Wolfe. He wanted UA to look more like air force one.

CEO Stephen Wolf chose the 1993 scheme. The story I heard on that was that Wolf was given many different possible livery designs and had each one posted up in his office. He spent a lot of time staring at each one, finally deciding on the dark blue/gray livery, which was eventually lightened for ATC concerns.

Wolf chose the design mainly because he wanted UA's planes to look more "international", considering UA was growing in new Int'l. markets, especially to LHR 2 years earlier, and was targeting other routes as well.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9623 times:



Quoting Milesrich (Reply 22):
The 1962 photo of the Caravelle VIR above at PHL shows the Caravelle in its delivery scheme with the pre-Capital merger United Shield, which was also part of the original DC-8 and B-720 scheme. The 727 picture next to the Caravelle photo shows the United post Capital merger shield, which on the original 727 delivery scheme was place in a break in the cheatline.

Merger was June 30, 1961. We Michigan people know this one well.

Quoting Milesrich (Reply 22):
During the 1960's, diffrent shades of blue were utilized on all aircraft.

Right you are...I have a few photos of DC6's and 6B's to confirm this.



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
25 Isitsafenow : I remember picking up my aunt and two cousins at MBS in late March of 75. The equipment from LGA was a UA 727-100QC N7402 in the 'new colors'. It was
26 Panova98 : To all of you who contributed to this thread, WOW! And Thanks!
27 Post contains links and images Rikkus67 : The Saul design had one update, which moved the cheatlines, and increased the fontsize substancially. The update is still one of my favorite "classic"
28 SXDFC : The first 757 in the new 2004 colors was N505UA.
29 AAH732UAL : Already pointed out
30 KL5147 : a.f.a.i.k. it was done in the late 1980's and included all types except the Boeing 747. (info from the book "Air Disaster, volume 2", page 188, by Ma
31 WNFlyer : This is my first post. I have been a reader for about 4 years now and finally took the plunge just now to join. I was flying UA in a 737 in early 1994
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