Alias1024
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:39 pm

Polot wrote:

AA's current gate/podium design isn't ugly per se, but is very generic. You can replace the AA name and logo with just about any airline and it would work since it just a representation of the sky and uses colors not really found on AA's aircraft.

Agreed. The podiums and check in areas look very generic and in my opinion rather cheap. They feel in no way connected to the rest of the branding. Honestly you could put a Chase logo on it, put it up behind the tellers at the bank and it would feel more at home than on American’s podiums.
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SgtBarone
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:39 pm

I really like the new branding on the regional jets. The old American Eagle livery was incredibly dated, IMO.
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Austin787
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:54 pm

AA's livery grew on me over the years. It definitely represents the USA. I prefer the American title get placed above the windows though.
 
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adamblang
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:47 pm

I think American's current branding is one of the, if not the, best in the U.S. at the moment. Maybe after Hawaiian.
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AASAP777
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:47 pm

As a former AAer who worked 15 years with iconic AA with the eagle in between and flew on bare metal 72S, MD-11s, 777s, 757s, 738s and 763s, I guess it was time to join the 21st Century. My only grudge is still the tail, but, like they say, it is a profit making company, not an aesthetic delight thing.

The new one looks great and modern. It would have been a pride to wear the uniform and the badge with the new image for me.
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ckfred
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:22 pm

First, as someone who has IKEA furniture in his house, I don't think of it as cheap. A lot of furniture has become horribly overpriced, and there is a lot of furniture that is overwrought.

Second, design today tends to be very clean, although not as minimalist as a Mies van der Rohe skyscraper. I noticed at a Panera, the signage is being replaced, and the new signage uses lettering in a simpler font. In watching CNBC today about the proxy battle at Proctor & Gamble, the logo with the crescent moon and thirteen stars has been replaced with a logo that is simply "P&G".

Third, light or blonde wood seems to be the "in" thing right now. When I look at furniture catalogs, the number of pieces in dark shades, such as dark cherry or mahogany, are far fewer than ten or twenty years ago. So, AA having light colored wood on everything from podiums at gates to tray tables on the J seats of 767s should not be one bit surprising.

Frankly, the materials that mimic chrome or stainless steel for ticketing, gate areas, and such are straight out of the 1990s. And if you think that branding looks cheap, think how worn, beaten-down, and threadbare things looked, say around 2010 as AA was slipping towards bankruptcy. Terminal 3 at ORD was beginning to look as bad as Terminal 2, which frankly hadn't been touched since the 1970s.

Even if you hate the livery, you have to admit that it sticks out like a sore thumb, just as Southwest's old and new liveries do. I was sitting at a high school soccer game last week which was taking place west of ORD. I was watching plane after plane depart, including some of the European departures. The Eurowhite aircraft passed over in droves, including UA, Virgin America, DL, BA, and LH. What stood out were AA, EI (who can miss a kelly green plane), and NK in taxi-cab yellow.

Now, are the current livery and logo going to stick around as long as the last bare-metel livery and the scissor Eagle? I doubt it. If you believe the rumors, Tom Horton picked what was described as the bad option for rebranding, because he knew that Doug Parker was going to wind up running a combined AA/US. Even though the old livery and logo held up very well, when compared to other airline brands that came along in the late 60s and early 70s, the brand was becoming dated.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:29 pm

Generic? Cheap? Podiums? What, are they selling these things? It looks fine to me. Whoever heard of making an airline choice over what the podium looks like. "Harry, that podium looks cheap and generic. I told you we should have flown Southwest!"
 
travelsonic
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:40 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
Whoever heard of making an airline choice over what the podium looks like.


Seen this strawman come up over and over in my time lurking - and I gotta say: it is quite intellectually dishonest - nobody (far as I see, at least) is implying this is happening, and you don't need to imply that to have a statement about different aspects of a business' operation. Even if those things don't make a big impact on purchasing decisions, it would be foolish to think that it doesn't affect image in *some* way - even minute - to some people, or leave some impression (positive OR negative).
 
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Polot
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:50 pm

travelsonic wrote:
Seen this strawman come up over and over in my time lurking - and I gotta say: it is quite intellectually dishonest - nobody (far as I see, at least) is implying this is happening, and you don't need to imply that to have a statement about different aspects of a business' operation. Even if those things don't make a big impact on purchasing decisions, it would be foolish to think that it doesn't affect image in *some* way - even minute - to some people, or leave some impression (positive OR negative).

:checkmark:

Delta is a perfect example. Delta does a fantastic job with their branding, and has a more positive and often times premium image compared to AA/UA in part because of it (whether you realize it or not). I doubt people are booking DL just because of their branding however.
 
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Boeing778X
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:53 pm

fraspotter wrote:
Boeing778X wrote:
HWC1977 wrote:
The other day I was flying through DFW and it really hit me how cheap AA's new branding looks. The gate and check-in areas look like an IKEA showroom


First it was "too much", now it's "cheap?" Some people can't be pleased, I guess :banghead: And if you're not used to the new livery by now, you probably never will be. If AA looks "cheap" to you, I'd hate to see what you consider good looking.

The reality is that it's fresh, modern, colorful, and seeing our 777s and 787s lined up at Terminal D is a sight. The branding is perfect, I'd have it no other way.

Oh, and for the record, THIS IS CHEAP!:

Image


I agree with you however I think Iberia's colorful tail really makes up for the lack of imagination that is the front part of the aircraft. If you want something that's cheap looking AND boring then look no further than JAL (bringing back the crane does not make up for the boring front end) and China Eastern (looks like a cheap charter airline).


Agreed! As for IB, the tail, and ONLY the tail is the part that came out remotely right. When it was debuted, they showed a video of how they "painstakingly" developed the logo and livery, mocking all who viewed it. It really is a monumental disgrace, considering how stunning the previous livery and corporate image was. I would have rather seen IB fly with that livery another 10 years and be rebranded competently than to see that mistake every time I go to ORD :?

They were too lazy to even do this!:

Image
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
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IrishAyes
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:01 pm

For those who are confused about what L-US or S-CO or anything like that means, here is a guide:

People use these designations to refer to the "legacy" carrier involved in one of the three big airline mergers that have taken place in the U.S. over the past 10 years: AA+US, UA+CO and DL+NW

For AA + US, people refer to the individual carriers using, "L," hence, L-US refers to legacy US Airways and L-AA refers to legacy American Airlines

For UA + CO, people refer to the individual carriers using, "S," hence, S-UA refers to legacy United and S-CO refers to legacy Continental

For DL + NW, people refer to the individual carriers using, "PM," hence, PMDL refers to pre-merger Delta Air Lines and PMNW refers to pre-merger Northwest Airlines
 
ldvaviation
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:31 pm

Polot wrote:
Delta is a perfect example. Delta does a fantastic job with their branding, and has a more positive and often times premium image compared to AA/UA in part because of it (whether you realize it or not). I doubt people are booking DL just because of their branding however.


Premium? Delta's oversaturated color blocks remind me of Target's oversaturated color blocks.

But back on topic:

With AA, there is room for improvement.

I like the sky/cloud banding with the gradient effect. But the American lettering and logo behind the podium should have been larger.

There is also room to evolve. Some variation of the tail pattern could replace the current wallpaper behind the podiums.

On the planes, I wish they would edit the tail design so that it does not cover the fuselage. Or, it could flare slightly over the fuselage, but not cover it completely.
 
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jsnww81
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:32 pm

ckfred wrote:
Frankly, the materials that mimic chrome or stainless steel for ticketing, gate areas, and such are straight out of the 1990s. And if you think that branding looks cheap, think how worn, beaten-down, and threadbare things looked, say around 2010 as AA was slipping towards bankruptcy. Terminal 3 at ORD was beginning to look as bad as Terminal 2, which frankly hadn't been touched since the 1970s.


ORD T3 was looking really tired in the late 2000s. I still think of it as new and modern, because I can remember when they first finished it - United had just opened the sparkling new T1 and American wasn't going to let its facility pale in comparsion. The barrel-vaulted ceilings and all that sleek dark-gray paneling were beyond modern when they were installed. But by 2010 the carpet was threadbare, the seats were torn and had stuffing coming out of them, and the walls were scuffed and faded. The gate podiums got refreshed around 2004, but that was it. It was hardly the image of a premium carrier.

Just be glad AA pulled the trigger on the Concourse G refresh in 1999, before 9/11 put an end to airline-sponsored terminal projects. The old Concourse G was at least as bad, if not worse, than the United Express disgrace over at T2. Concourse G still looks pretty good, more than 15 years after that project wrapped up.
 
TripleA
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:42 pm

fraspotter wrote:
While the new branding behind the ticket counters isn't perfect it works with their current logo. Besides I think it looks much better than what they had before.
New:
Image
Old:
Image


I disagree. The old ticket counters looked much more professional IMO.
 
TripleA
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:54 pm

Honestly, I think that the livery itself looks great, especially on the regional jets. I just don't think they did that good of a job carrying over the branding from the aircraft to inside the airports such as signage at the podiums and ticket counters. I'll be honest though, I think the same of Southwest. In my opinion, both AA and WNs old ticket counters looked much more professional than the new ones. The new signage at their ticket counters looks cheap and generic. Same with the logos on the bulkheads in the cabins. The old AA Eagle logo and the old Southwest winged heart logo looked much better on the bulkheads than the new Eagle logo and the new heart symbol. But that's just my opinion.
 
N626AA
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:25 pm

LAXLHR wrote:
AWACSooner wrote:
Repeat after me folks:
It's all about the shareholders.

Customers be damned...appearances be damned...service be damned. Maximize profit...maximize shareholder return...that's the game nowadays.


I said it the other day. DL+UA+AA = ONE Airline. WALL STREET AIRLINES


Imagine the logo/livery of THAT airline. Solid white fuselage, blue tail, small WSA font just ahead of the wing roots. I hope that day never comes.
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KATL2
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:32 pm

I don't mind the new livery or the new look at check in counters (the old one was dated). What I don't like is the actual logo and the fact that the word "American" gets cut out by all the windows on the aircraft, when will airlines learn that billboard liveries are stupid PUT THE NAME ABOVE THE WINDOWS.

Also United should have kept the tulip.

[end rant]
 
khpn
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:49 pm

To say the remodeled Admirals clubs are tacky is laughable. I think they are bright, modern and well decorated. Have you been to some of the brand new ones like in MCO? Its fantastic. The newly re-opened sections of the one in terminal A of DFW, sharp as well. Also, OP must clearly have never been to the flagship lounge in JFK, because that is absolutely stellar.
 
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SuperGee
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:49 pm

With the exception of the new logo, I don’t really have strong feelings about the newer AA gate areas, ticket counters, etc. They seem perfectly fine to me but so did the previous ones. I would be content with either. I really do like the look of the new flagship lounges, however. I also greatly dislike the new livery and much prefer the old polished aluminum/red white blue triple cheat line look. Call me a traditionalist I guess. Even one's taste in aesthetics or a desire to break with the past and look more contemporary aside, the advent of carbon fiber bodies likely would have precluded AA from continuing with the previous livery I would think.

I will concede that the new livery can and probably will grow on me but that hasn't happened so far. And…for those who REALLY want to mix the old (livery) and the current (B737), how about this special edition plane that flew President-elect George W. Bush to Washington prior to his inauguration? I understand that there was a 757 in that livery as well:

Image

Image
 
rufusmi
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:27 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
I like the new branding, logo, livery, and airport branding. I do miss the old livery/branding, as it was one of the more iconic ones, but nothing lasts forever.

United, on the other hand, needs a complete logo and brand redesign. The death star has to go.


This. American's new branding is fine, the old was very dated. United is in desperate need of new branding, they've gone through too much turmoil with the current brand.
 
washingtonflyer
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:43 pm

ahj2000 wrote:
Agree. And from an L-US perspective, the AA branding is so much much brighter, more modern, and less 1999. Everything but that tail is better than American’s 50-year old branding and US Airways’s as well.
Plus, the bare metal was blinding in Thebes DFW sun :)


Donno. I kind of liked the 1999 US Airways (Stephen Wolf owned) logos and design.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:52 pm

Boeing778X wrote:
They were too lazy to even do this!:

Image


Although they kind of did it apart from the belly....

Image



TripleA wrote:
I disagree. The old ticket counters looked much more professional IMO.


You mean in 1974?
 
HWC1977
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Re: AA's new branding

Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:49 pm

Jayafe wrote:

TripleA wrote:
I disagree. The old ticket counters looked much more professional IMO.


You mean in 1974?


Why the sarcasm? A lot of folks on here seem to think anything traditional or conventional as outdated.
 
Flightsimboy
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:21 am

It is modern. The stylized eagle is really nice. The Boeing 777-300ERs look especially grand. At least they retained the grey unlike AC going all white. Check out Akino33''s night time departure of AA 777s from NRT. Classic.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
Lufthansa
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:41 am

You know from an international perspective I think it's great!
AA was really feeling like it was stuck in the 80s both inside and outside the aircraft,
as much as we did like the polished aluminium. It's not AA's fault modern aircraft couldn't
use that look. As for their rebranding look at the new first class dining lounge they opened in
JFK! It's stunning, and brings the airline up to offering a proper international standard.

I have personally booked people on AA's new premium products long haul, and although they were
initially resistant they all agreed, it's not the same airline it used to be, and they were all non-americans.
For quite a while, probably since 9-11 and the associated cut backs US carriers had a bad reputation
and the likes of these changes has gone a long way to challenging that. AA's new business class
easily beats BA at the moment. That's something I never thought I'd catch myself saying. And on international
routes, there are far more NON AMERICAN pax than US born pax. So.... it's important to balance what they're
expectations are too along with the home grown market. Across the Pacific for example, I know people who now
pick AA's J class over QF's outdated skybed due to the better seat and vastly improved standards of catering etc.
Of course QF is going to fix this issue, but the improvements both Delta and AA have made long haul, means
they're giving BA and and some LH group airlines etc a run for their money.

A lot of people are resistant to change. It's necessary and a part of life. So my advice is try and embrace it, as you may
be surprised with what you can discover. Some of the moves they made screamed out Brand new airline... like the A321T
or reintroducing meals in y on transcon. Stuff like this is ultimately going to win back loyalty.
 
Independence76
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:27 am

This is quite a write-up, but this is something I wrote three years ago regarding the branding and internal hear-say.

I attended the rebranding party held on January 17, 2013 and I cannot express how livid I was with the result after months of anticipation of what was to occur. My mood has since been calmed, but my opinion of the New American project is still very negative. A 45-year-old brand was trashed completely in the name of "fresh" (the trend many design firms are following in present day). A new typeface, graphic design handbook, and logo were made from the ground-up. When handed the keys to a company with a brand as iconic as the Vignelli designs, you don't throw it away. Whether this was the decision of FutureBrand or Horton (they share a close relationship), it was a reckless decision when it came to brand equity. Firms such as Landor Associates clearly have shown discipline in regards to fragile brands in the past and have set examples of what American should have done.

While the cost of the project is still unknown, the issues during the brand's execution started from day one: A scheduling conflict resulted in the 77W being unpainted at the official press event. Physical application of the logo gradients was ignored during development by the firm, leaving questions about fabric, glass, plastic, and porcelain application up to airline staff after finalization. A 77W had an incorrect Oneworld sticker painted at one point due to a lack of instructions included with the paint application program. The grey/silver shade ended up being a dark grey in cloudy conditions because they were only tested in sunny conditions when it was chosen. The handbook FutureBrand produced restricted how the logo and AA text was represented on a basic square and wasn't fixed until months later. The flag tail resulted in a massive controversy among anybody who discussed it, from enthusiasts to employees - resulting in a very limited employee vote with conflicting statements of intentions from corporate staff. Conclusion: this has caused more of a mess than it has fixed anything that was wrong with the previous brand.

It took the Branding department 3 months to realize that the handbook that FutureBrand produced for them lacked major instructions in regards to alternative physical applications as well as silhouette versions (their confusion resulted in the creation of 4 versions of a silhouette logo). The original handbook required square areas to have the text with the logo directly to the right - not the logo on top with the text in reduced size on bottom. This also had to be changed because the size of certain square areas rendered the text and logo unreadable. It's as if FutureBrand handed them a lemon and told AA to make lemonade. Corporate/design firm associations just aren't supposed to work that way.

The Flight Symbol was a decent creation which could look good on paper and still align perfectly with the tails on their aircraft. It would have allowed a very straight-forward and logical brand to showcase worldwide. Unfortunately, the flag tail was also created as some sort of "American art form" that presents more international obnoxiousness than design creativity. It was Horton who personally said "use it" and ignored the costs of the elaborate stencils required for painting and the mass criticism it received.

Love or hate the flag tail: it's extremely far from a "smashing success." It was an experimental design that continues to draw criticism from many enthusiasts and takes up to 2+ weeks to dry properly on larger aircraft. This dramatic shift in branding and visual appearance with the New American project is not one that speaks to me as if we are entering a "new age of US aviation," but instead, a display of a total lack of discipline by a professional design firm when a massive heritage is in question. A re-application of some sort was necessary for new composite aircraft, but a change this radical was ridiculous.

I've never seen a brand stir up so much controversy and speculation. Truly good brands just don't have that kind of reaction.


Even if only half of what the rumors were are actually true, FutureBrand and AA really were the blind leading the blind in terms of how to develop and manage a multi-billion dollar company brand. Sure, some people really love the new brand, but if you knew the probable truth behind it and what goes into brands, you'd definitely be left with a "it looks great, but..." opinion.

Also, if people remember, AA under Parker did indeed hold a vote as to the future of the tail. I could be getting my numbers wrong, but 34% of employees said "keep it" and 32-33% said "change it." The remaining employees did not vote. I have family who are former employees of AA who spent 20+ years with the company, but were not able to vote because it was restricted to current employees only. The choices provided involved two separate very horribly rendered models: one with the current livery and another one with the fuselage of the current livery with the Vignelli/Dreyfuss tail (a fuse of two brands). Conflicting claims from AA executives about whether or not it would be the final version made it confusing to many, and AA employees I spoke with voted to "keep it" out of simply the confusion that management created.

There's even more to the mishaps post-rebranding that I know of as confirmed cases, but won't go into that now.
 
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B727skyguy
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:19 am

That piano keyboard on the tail is hideous! When I see an AA plane, I don't think "American flag"; I think "piano keyboard."

The AA with the eagle has always been a part of American Airlines' branding. Getting rid of it was a huge mistake. That "flight symbol" just doesn't do it like the AA did.

When I look at the ticket counter pics, the old one looks more "American" than the new one. Since the colors of the United States are red, white, and blue, it's logical for American Airlines to incorporate that into their brand. Other than the "flight symbol," nothing with the new ticket counter branding does that.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:27 am

Boeing778X wrote:
considering how stunning the previous livery and corporate image was

...and by that you mean "not at all," no?

If not, then what on earth is "stunning" about this??
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
ahj2000
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:13 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Boeing778X wrote:
considering how stunning the previous livery and corporate image was

...and by that you mean "not at all," no?

If not, then what on earth is "stunning" about this??

Absolutely nothing. While IB couldve gone creative, it is still better than the past ancient livery.
-Andrés Juánez
 
user444555
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:22 am

B727skyguy wrote:
That piano keyboard on the tail is hideous! When I see an AA plane, I don't think "American flag"; I think "piano keyboard."

The AA with the eagle has always been a part of American Airlines' branding. Getting rid of it was a huge mistake. That "flight symbol" just doesn't do it like the AA did.

When I look at the ticket counter pics, the old one looks more "American" than the new one. Since the colors of the United States are red, white, and blue, it's logical for American Airlines to incorporate that into their brand. Other than the "flight symbol," nothing with the new ticket counter branding does that.


I completely agree with this. I am ok with everything except the tail. It is the ugliest tail I have ever seen. It is even worse close up with all the colors. It brings to mind all the recent talk of respect for the flag. The US flag does not have orange, gray, and whatever blended colors the designers threw in. It is messy, disruptive from the front 3/4's of the plane and it does look like a 2 year old scribbled it. I agree with whoever said it would look better if it were only on the tail and stopped at the fuselage. At least it would not look as bad. Adding it to the fuselage makes a messy distortion into a hideously messy distortion. It is big and bold but sadly it is ugly. If anything about the new branding is not premium, it is the tail. It screams look at me, yes, but only because it is unattractive and gaudy.

I think the same firm did QF and BA IIRC. They seem to have an obsession with coloring outside the lines. The sleek, modern forward part of the plane may be bland, but it is at least a little bit classy. There is nothing classy about that tail. jmo.

It has been 5 years. I hope once the integration is complete with all employees able to bid and work all aircraft and all workers merged in all cities, there will be a 'new' livery to celebrate.

AND most importantly, I hope they will ask customers and employees before making a final decision. As someone pointed out, the vote was close and employees were confused about it. It was way too close to be a definitive end for the process. I realize management had a lot of more important things going on at the time.
But I am disappointed they did not look into other options. There should have been a third choice of should be go back to the drawing board. Leaving the polished metal was a necessity, but that ugly tail is not.
 
rta
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:54 am

KLDC10 wrote:
For me, the new branding is so far removed from the old that it doesn't even feel like the same airline. Although to be honest, it hasn't felt like the same airline since the merger, and I haven't flown with them since 2012 for that reason.


AA knows they're not the same airline anymore - and that's something they made clear with the whole rebranding. They pay homage to L AA but are doing what they need to do to be a modern airline that people want to fly on. Overall, I think they did a good job and I think today's AA is a much better airline than its predecessor.

HWC1977 wrote:
I know this sounds retarded, but it was like losing an old friend. Kinda like when an old local restaurant or store closes in your hometown.


I understand your sentiment but businesses don't survive by being stagnant. Especially not airlines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_d ... ted_States
 
user444555
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:40 am

There should have been a third choice of should *we* go back to the drawing board. Leaving the polished metal was a necessity, but that ugly tail is not.
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:14 am

I'll say it... I like the new(ish) AA livery/brand. Its sleek, modern, keeps some degree of silvery-ness, and the flag and eagle are tastefully incorporated in stylized form.
 
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maortega15
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:52 am

Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:48 am

I'm not sure what the deal is with the common usage of the Myriad-like font. Everybody seems to use them now. Garuda, AA, Microsoft, Apple, Rolls Royce and others seem to use this as their font for their brand.

As far as their livery goes, not crazy about it. If they wanted to go with a gray on the fuselage, they could've at least used Aeroflot's almost chrome-like finish.

As for the branding itself, they should've at least retained some kind of rendition of "AA" on the tail aside from the branding.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:15 am

HWC1977 wrote:
The other day I was flying through DFW and it really hit me how cheap AA's new branding looks. The gate and check-in areas look like an IKEA showroom. Same with the clubs they are remodeling. One of things I always liked about AA was the classic look they maintained over the years (I guess before the merger). That look gave a strong and sturdy feel. I just don't understand why everything has to move towards that trendy, hipster look.


I couldn't agree more with you, but sadly that's the way forward...cheap, tacky, hipster-like. Nothing that is even remotely 'formal' is being retained by airlines around the world... It's as if they all have to convey the image that they are "easy, cheap & disposable". I don't get it. I mean..I do -to some extent- for a LCC, but not for a brand like AA. It's sad.
On the other hand, trust me, the AA job is probably one of the 'better' ones out there. Don't even get me started on IB or AY...
 
bgm
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:45 am

I really like the new AA livery, it’s a bold change from the stale, old one that belongs in the 1960s. I guess people have an attachment to it due to nostalgia, but with the merged airline, the new brand was needed.

Also love WN’s livery, as well as AS. The US skies definitely look more colorful now, despite the UA(CO) 1990s MS Word clip art.
OK boomer.
 
VC10er
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:45 pm

The American flag representation on the tail is ok for me. The brand strategy was very clear: the name of the airline was "American" and they saw the opportunity to be the closest thing to the USA's flag carrier. However, it is the new eagle that offends. It is truly awful IMHO and professional opinion. There was NOTHING wrong with the old scissor eagle and it should have stayed.

As for United, I can go on and on about the old CO livery needing to be updated, it will be a question of the right timing as to when to update it. But the one thing UA has done well are the gate areas and the white and chrome computer terminals and waiting areas (I site EWR gates as an example) and the new UA clubs give a consistent new UA brand. Delta has done a quality job too.

American just seems cheap looking, the back walls and all. It was their greatest branding snafu in my opinion. While I rarely fly them, since this is my profession I am looking all the time. That "eagle sniffing it's armpit" (as I have read other places) is trendy and not timeless. One only needs to look as far as Singapore to see how managing a brand's visual assets well works to a brand's long term strength. The Singapore Crane is very 1970's for sure, but how they have managed it, staged it in contemporary ways has signaled how important "brand" is to Singapore...and how it helps with what is often an undifferentiated product. (as the US 3 are fairly undifferentiated despite all the strong feelings people may have about DL, AA and UA)
Singapore does a lot to make sure their experience is differentiated, they make certain their brand demonstrates their unwavering commitment.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:07 pm

reasonable wrote:
GSPSPOT wrote:
I have to say, it looks like AA could have at least done a better job with gate areas/podiums. However, I feel that DL started that race to the bottom in airline clubs when they revamped the Sky Clubs a few years back. AA's new management, sadly, simply followed their lead.


Can you say more about this? I've never been in either clubs, so am curious for more details.

In DL's case, they went from an admittedly more traditional but substantial look/feel (think dark & clubby atmosphere), to a much brighter, more crowded format with (to me) flimsy-looking and cheap-feeling materials & colors. The new look and feel are decidedly less private to me.
Great Lakes, great life.
 
reasonable
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:22 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
Generic? Cheap? Podiums? What, are they selling these things? It looks fine to me. Whoever heard of making an airline choice over what the podium looks like. "Harry, that podium looks cheap and generic. I told you we should have flown Southwest!"


I probably would. That said, I also don't have airline allegiance.

Design is easy, airlines that can't pull it off are showing a lack of sophistication; to some people, that's part of what they're buying with air travel. Not only that, it's what makes money for airlines through premium experiences. For example, the United Polaris cabin looks hackneyed to me. A lot of silly swoops, textures, and lights to delight the simpleton. It looks like a sincere attempt to make something sophisticated, but that the airline at the end of the day just didn't know what good design is.
 
gzm
Posts: 364
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:36 pm

Could somebody please make a graphic design putting the new eagle on the tail? After all,it has the shape of one. Make it on a 777 tail,it should fit better as it is slender and should require few changes. Thanks in anticipation!
 
HWC1977
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:02 pm

Independence76 wrote:
This is quite a write-up, but this is something I wrote three years ago regarding the branding and internal hear-say.

I attended the rebranding party held on January 17, 2013 and I cannot express how livid I was with the result after months of anticipation of what was to occur. My mood has since been calmed, but my opinion of the New American project is still very negative. A 45-year-old brand was trashed completely in the name of "fresh" (the trend many design firms are following in present day). A new typeface, graphic design handbook, and logo were made from the ground-up. When handed the keys to a company with a brand as iconic as the Vignelli designs, you don't throw it away. Whether this was the decision of FutureBrand or Horton (they share a close relationship), it was a reckless decision when it came to brand equity. Firms such as Landor Associates clearly have shown discipline in regards to fragile brands in the past and have set examples of what American should have done.

While the cost of the project is still unknown, the issues during the brand's execution started from day one: A scheduling conflict resulted in the 77W being unpainted at the official press event. Physical application of the logo gradients was ignored during development by the firm, leaving questions about fabric, glass, plastic, and porcelain application up to airline staff after finalization. A 77W had an incorrect Oneworld sticker painted at one point due to a lack of instructions included with the paint application program. The grey/silver shade ended up being a dark grey in cloudy conditions because they were only tested in sunny conditions when it was chosen. The handbook FutureBrand produced restricted how the logo and AA text was represented on a basic square and wasn't fixed until months later. The flag tail resulted in a massive controversy among anybody who discussed it, from enthusiasts to employees - resulting in a very limited employee vote with conflicting statements of intentions from corporate staff. Conclusion: this has caused more of a mess than it has fixed anything that was wrong with the previous brand.

It took the Branding department 3 months to realize that the handbook that FutureBrand produced for them lacked major instructions in regards to alternative physical applications as well as silhouette versions (their confusion resulted in the creation of 4 versions of a silhouette logo). The original handbook required square areas to have the text with the logo directly to the right - not the logo on top with the text in reduced size on bottom. This also had to be changed because the size of certain square areas rendered the text and logo unreadable. It's as if FutureBrand handed them a lemon and told AA to make lemonade. Corporate/design firm associations just aren't supposed to work that way.

The Flight Symbol was a decent creation which could look good on paper and still align perfectly with the tails on their aircraft. It would have allowed a very straight-forward and logical brand to showcase worldwide. Unfortunately, the flag tail was also created as some sort of "American art form" that presents more international obnoxiousness than design creativity. It was Horton who personally said "use it" and ignored the costs of the elaborate stencils required for painting and the mass criticism it received.

Love or hate the flag tail: it's extremely far from a "smashing success." It was an experimental design that continues to draw criticism from many enthusiasts and takes up to 2+ weeks to dry properly on larger aircraft. This dramatic shift in branding and visual appearance with the New American project is not one that speaks to me as if we are entering a "new age of US aviation," but instead, a display of a total lack of discipline by a professional design firm when a massive heritage is in question. A re-application of some sort was necessary for new composite aircraft, but a change this radical was ridiculous.

I've never seen a brand stir up so much controversy and speculation. Truly good brands just don't have that kind of reaction.


Even if only half of what the rumors were are actually true, FutureBrand and AA really were the blind leading the blind in terms of how to develop and manage a multi-billion dollar company brand. Sure, some people really love the new brand, but if you knew the probable truth behind it and what goes into brands, you'd definitely be left with a "it looks great, but..." opinion.

Also, if people remember, AA under Parker did indeed hold a vote as to the future of the tail. I could be getting my numbers wrong, but 34% of employees said "keep it" and 32-33% said "change it." The remaining employees did not vote. I have family who are former employees of AA who spent 20+ years with the company, but were not able to vote because it was restricted to current employees only. The choices provided involved two separate very horribly rendered models: one with the current livery and another one with the fuselage of the current livery with the Vignelli/Dreyfuss tail (a fuse of two brands). Conflicting claims from AA executives about whether or not it would be the final version made it confusing to many, and AA employees I spoke with voted to "keep it" out of simply the confusion that management created.

There's even more to the mishaps post-rebranding that I know of as confirmed cases, but won't go into that now.


Thank you so much for your insight. I'm glad to know not much thought went into the execution of what was a great brand.

reasonable wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
Generic? Cheap? Podiums? What, are they selling these things? It looks fine to me. Whoever heard of making an airline choice over what the podium looks like. "Harry, that podium looks cheap and generic. I told you we should have flown Southwest!"


I probably would. That said, I also don't have airline allegiance.

Design is easy, airlines that can't pull it off are showing a lack of sophistication; to some people, that's part of what they're buying with air travel. Not only that, it's what makes money for airlines through premium experiences. For example, the United Polaris cabin looks hackneyed to me. A lot of silly swoops, textures, and lights to delight the simpleton. It looks like a sincere attempt to make something sophisticated, but that the airline at the end of the day just didn't know what good design is.


This is the exact point I was trying to make. Thank you for finding the right words. The lack of sophistication is what really irks me. It seems all companies, not just airlines, are clamoring to market towards this new generation. They are too self-absorbed in their I-Whatevers to notice the world around them, much less airport signage. There are a lot of people that do appreciate finer things and higher standards.
 
Alias1024
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:48 pm

VC10er wrote:
However, it is the new eagle that offends. It is truly awful IMHO and professional opinion. There was NOTHING wrong with the old scissor eagle and it should have stayed.

THIS!

The Flight Symbol is just terrible. That’s not an eagle, no matter how much they try to say it is. It’s really an atrocious attempt at an eagle logo when people see 3D glasses, a medicine capsule, a pulltab, or a forward slash, but not an eagle. Then when you say it’s an eagle they tell you it’s, as you said, “sniffing it’s armpit.” Some times a designer can go too abstract, and the AA rebrand was one of those times.

I actually sort of like the tail. It’s instantly recognized as “American,” it looks quite good with several tails lined up in a row at the hubs, and I like that they had the guts to look past the cost of such a complex design.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
reasonable
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:28 pm

HWC1977 wrote:
This is the exact point I was trying to make. Thank you for finding the right words. The lack of sophistication is what really irks me. It seems all companies, not just airlines, are clamoring to market towards this new generation. They are too self-absorbed in their I-Whatevers to notice the world around them, much less airport signage. There are a lot of people that do appreciate finer things and higher standards.


full disclosure, though, i'm also one of those "new generation." i do think that airlines need to elevate their brand, but not with flimsiness. the cathay pacific (i think?) first class lounge is a great example of invoking the design legacy of air travel in a contemporary product.
 
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fraspotter
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Re: AA's new branding

Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:09 pm

Boeing778X wrote:
fraspotter wrote:
Boeing778X wrote:

First it was "too much", now it's "cheap?" Some people can't be pleased, I guess :banghead: And if you're not used to the new livery by now, you probably never will be. If AA looks "cheap" to you, I'd hate to see what you consider good looking.

The reality is that it's fresh, modern, colorful, and seeing our 777s and 787s lined up at Terminal D is a sight. The branding is perfect, I'd have it no other way.

Oh, and for the record, THIS IS CHEAP!:

Image


I agree with you however I think Iberia's colorful tail really makes up for the lack of imagination that is the front part of the aircraft. If you want something that's cheap looking AND boring then look no further than JAL (bringing back the crane does not make up for the boring front end) and China Eastern (looks like a cheap charter airline).


Agreed! As for IB, the tail, and ONLY the tail is the part that came out remotely right. When it was debuted, they showed a video of how they "painstakingly" developed the logo and livery, mocking all who viewed it. It really is a monumental disgrace, considering how stunning the previous livery and corporate image was. I would have rather seen IB fly with that livery another 10 years and be rebranded competently than to see that mistake every time I go to ORD :?

They were too lazy to even do this!:

Image


I LOVE this! Very American Airlines but it looks 100x better than what they have now.
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."

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Boeing778X
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:39 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Boeing778X wrote:
considering how stunning the previous livery and corporate image was

...and by that you mean "not at all," no?

If not, then what on earth is "stunning" about this??


Terrible Photo! ;)

Um...You were saying? :eyepopping:

Image

Jayafe wrote:
Boeing778X wrote:
They were too lazy to even do this!:

Image


Although they kind of did it apart from the belly....

Image



Kind of, but not quite. What a difference painted nacelles make! Sad when a subsidiary has a better looking livery than the parent.

I hate that livery more and more, every time I see it! They had a once in a generation chance to rebrand an airline, and with Spain's colors, thay should be come up with something mindblowing. Even what I linked would have been nice!

I dunno, I guess the "designers" needed to take a siesta halfway through, then stopped caring when they woke.
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
travelsonic
Posts: 79
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm

For me, the thing I dislike about the new livery, branding is just how big a leap away it was from the old. If you look at the branding chronologically, you'll see that there WAS a constant - an eagle betwixt two As - for the logo. The font of the logo, the style of the eagle, the type used on the "American Airlines" lettering changed over time, but those elements were kept in some way, recognizable from the early days, to the astrojet livery days, through the era of the Massimo Vignelli designed branding. Those very familiar elements are now either completely gone, or abstracted away to the point of being hard to spot - as opposed to merely modified to be different than they were over the last 40-smething years. It's (purely IMO of course) too radical a change too fast.
 
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OA260
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:35 pm

Boeing778X wrote:
What a difference painted nacelles make! Sad when a subsidiary has a better looking livery than the parent.



I have got used to the new IB livery although at first it was sad to see their iconic legacy one go. The Iberia Express is the one that should have been on all the fleet at Iberia. So Iberia Express has the better livery and in fact I fly them quite a bit and the crew are much better too.

As for AA I am 50/50 I like both but tend to agree that the old one had its day. There is no doubt that the current one is fresher.
 
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shamrock350
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:40 pm

The livery has grown on me, still dislike how disconnected the logo and tail design are but it does look great seeing a line up of American tails at an airport, that aspect of the brands works really well. Haven't seen much airport branding myself but the overall design must make it cleaner and more simplistic, a very "on trend" thing to do in the design world right now. It's also very European in its approach, influences from Scandinavia proved really popular in everything from branding to decorating your living room.
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:31 pm

I'll agree with those who have said this livery looks a lot better live than in photos, but I still can't warm up to that tail. It looks like some of the worse ideas from the MAP database.

That being said, United is still flying around in the PMCO livery and WN turned their planes into hot dog stands, sooo...
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
LovePrunesAnet
Posts: 268
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Re: AA's new branding

Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:32 pm

XLA2008 wrote:
I wasn’t a huge fan of the AA rebrand, but the livery has grown on me, I think they could have done so much more with it, the thing I find the most a shame is that AA when coming out of bankruptcy, were launching brand new cabins, service, livery... it looked to be fantastic, and somewhere along the way they totally lost who they are, they had a great FF program that’s turned to crap, they had relatively good service, that’s turned to crap, they had class and legacy and now the whole network seems a total mess, it’s like they merged with US Airways and the size of the company and operations was too big for them to handle, they have resorted to ripping passengers off with this useless “basic economy” which is just so cheap and tacky, it looks as though they skimped on every penny, their entire fleet is a total mis-match of cabins, you never know what product your going to get which honestly I find SO frustrating, I often fly to Hawaii and they sell and show a seat map for the new 767 first class, in 18 flights over the past 2 years to Maui I am yet to actually fly in the new first, they always switch the aircraft and cabin either the day before or at check in you find out it’s the old product, yet that isn’t what they advertise online or what you get, in fact it happens so often I know what to expect when I’m booking, it shouldn’t be that way, I feel like that’s false advertising! And I am Exec Plat with AA and have to say the ONLY reason I still fly with them is because of my status, if Delta would transfer my status I would be LONG gone! Oh and never fly Mesa, you will be lucky to make it to your destination on time... if you make it at all! Terrible terrible on time performance, at least here in the south, I’ve conplained to AA a ton of times about ontime performance, cabin products, switching of cabins... they don’t seem to care, they don’t seem to care about their customers at all anymore, it’s all about making as much money as they can, and cutting all the things that made them a good airline in order to save every penny! Genuinely such a shame! I don’t mean to bash AA I’ve been a loyal customer to them for a very long time! I just hope they find their way again! Because people like me who’s company and who i personally spend a lot of money to travel with AA, will and intend to stop traveling with them and earning status with Delta or United, I’m at the point to just give up my status and switch my loyalty to another company, DL are just as convenient, there product is very nice, their customer service seems to have improved a lot over the years! I really do hope AA find their again!



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