Well "in the coming years" seems pretty open! I would imagine that it will happen and when it does I hope that they have enough sense to bring back the old tulip logo.
Totally! Poor Saul Bass was probably rolling over in his grave in 2010 when Smisek and Tilton announced the "compromise" merger: the company would keep United's name and headquarters but the planes would take on Continental's look!
The Continental globe logo has always been a second class design in that they did not hire a logo design firm. The globe was an in-house design from their graphics arts department!
Apologies I don’t mean to be disagreeable, actually it was done by a logo design firm. The 1991 livery was designed by a team of people I know from Lippincott and Margulies, a brand strategy and design firm in NYC, not done in house. (At the time I was an Exec Creative Director at Landor, and their primary competitor- but we all knew each other) I even know the software used to create the wrapped grid. Lippencott was well known to be far stronger in brand strategy than design (although they have done their fair share of iconic design). They were partially credited with the vision working with Bethune for the “big turn around” and it was a HUGE feather in their cap. It was panic button time at Landor as we were (until then) the world’s leading airline branding agency.
I have personally never liked it because all I can see is the use of a new mapping filter to wrap a graphic around a shape: in CO’s case a sphere. Ironically I was leading the Pepsi Concorde project at the time, and we both accidentally created 1/4 globe liveries!!!
United would in my professional opinion (and I feel very strongly about this because I’ve seen this backfire time and again) would be extremely unwise to make a significant change to the livery and identity right now. They need to “earn” a new livery. Create the airline that they aspire to be first- before screaming CHANGE to the world.
There is no design in the world that if launched now would help them distance themselves from recent PR disasters or improve perceptions. Consumers are not dumb, it would be seen as a flimsy attempt to change perceptions when a great brand experience isn’t being delivered in full force yet. The airways would be filled with “lipstick on a pig” comments if they did it now.
They are already in the process of introducing new (and IMHO very well done) design elements throughout the system. The new lit tables and chairs in waiting areas and gates at EWR are really cool and comfortable, aircraft interiors need at least another 18 months of refits and each hub should have a new Polaris Lounge and United Club before changing the livery and identity.
I’m all for a new identity- but timing is everything and it ain’t time!