If you look at all CO
-branded material now, including the CO Web site
, you'll see that the logo in use is an updated, slightly modernized, two-color version of the tail logo used since 1991. They've kept, of course, the serif font for "Continental," which works great alongside the modified logo.
If indeed a modification to the aircraft livery is, or one day will be, in the works, I wouldn't be surprised to see it incorporate that version of the logo.
I'd note that, in the two or so years leading up to Delta's 1997 rebranding, the typeface and color of "Delta Air Lines" on everything but DL
aircraft changed from the traditional all-caps, slanted sans-serif font to the two-toned serif type used from 1997-2000. Those two-toned "Delta Air Lines" serif titles that would be used in the 1997 livery even appeared in 1995 on DL
's 762 and MD
-11 that saluted the 1996 Olympics in ATL
, some two years before the Allen/Landor redesign was launched fleetwide. [Of course, the 2000 "Colors in Motion" and the new 2007 livery weren't "previewed" at all prior to announcement.]
Also, United dispensed with its Wolf-era logo and typeface as early as 1999-2000, using the typeface and logo of its current brand identity some years before the actual livery debuted on an aircraft. (The mysterious appearance of the new typeface on UA
-branded materials and airport ticket counters sparked many a speculative discussion on this forum, IIRC).
's modified logo is another iteration of that trend...? It certainly suggests something, IMO.
As for the merits of the argument with respect to whether CO
actually needs a new livery, I'd say the font works great, but the globe with gold accents on the tail is a bit 1990s. That's just my opinion, though. I do agree that CO
generally has an excellent brand image. And while it's true that there's no reason to change for the sake of change, corporate identities do tend to be freshened from time to time -- good brand images or reputations notwithstanding -- simply to keep up with changing and modernizing visual motifs and aesthetics.