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The Verdict on American’s New Livery: Meh

The Verdict on American’s New Livery: Meh

American’s new logo and livery, introduced less than a week ago, are getting plenty of attention and commentary, much of it negative.

Here are some recent comments from the initial coverage:

  • They should spend the money on customer experience rather than on rebranding. Plus, it is really ugly. (Corey)
  • The real tragedy of this makeover is loss of the classic “AA” symbol. This was one of last true iconic airline logos left in the world — a timeless and elegant trademark. It has been replaced by a hideous, meaningless abstraction. The rest of the design can be forgiven (almost). Throwing away the AA emblem is another story. What a terrible new identity. (Patrick Smith)
  • I didn’t know that American merged with Cubana. (cynicalJew)
  • The logo on the fuselage is ok but the tail looks too “busy.” (Rich787)
  • The old livery and logo was better. (Ondrej Bocek)
  • Hideous. (Matt)

There was not a single positive review in the lot.

In a Flyertalk thread on the new visual branding, the responses were more mixed. A poll showed 49.3 percent with generally positive views of the change, 41.3 percent with negative views, and 9.4 percent “not feeling much one way or the other.”

If American was hoping for an outpouring of support for the new identity, they clearly miscalculated. For now, the best that can be said is that the considerable resources so far expended on the redesign exercise have yielded a “controversial” result.

Tastes do change, however, and more often than not the shift is from the negative to the positive. I’m reminded of the first-generation Ford Taurus, with its relentlessly oval-themed body panels and interior fittings. Through the years, public opinion evolved from derisive to appreciative.

American’s only hope now is that we’ll see a similar gradual warming toward its new colors.

Reader Reality Check

What’s your take on American’s new logo and color scheme?

  • appstorechronicle

    Meh indeed

  • Brian Stout


  • Edgar Numrich

    Thanks for this update. And, come to think of it, the “classic” “AA” just by itself on the sides of the fuselage would be enough. (As is reminds of “New Coke”, too ~ we all know what happened with that!)

  • votedemout

    Looks like a Greyhound logo to me

  • Usahim

    Yes – it too reminds me of Greyhound … when it comes to being in the air, I would prefer an Eagle over a dog! Secondly, the red should be the top color not the blue, disrespectful for “American” airline to not have the colors in proper order.

  • Usahim

    TIme to just throw in the inevitable towel and have “US Airways” on the sides of their once iconic aircraft. It is either that or going away forever, at least we will hold some status, not lose out on our banked miles completely and will become part of the Star Alliance which I have always preferred much more with Lufthansa being in that group.

  • Jeffrey Balash

    Management continues to focus on the wrong issues. Spending money on a new identity won’t drive customer traffic. AA is well known and this is a complete waste of money. The Board of Directors should be called to task for not nipping this self indulgent idea in the bud. Spending money on improved customer service, better internal cabin features (outlets at all the seats, more video choices, etc) is what will drive traffic. This strategy calls into question the competence of AA’s senior management, which really isn’t in question. They’ve established that they are not very good.

  • tolbuck

    UNIMPRESSED. The AA Logo was the clearly One of the most recognized Symbols WORLDWIDE and This Management Team decides a “Make Over” was In Order? The BIGGEST Improvement We can Hope For is Horton & Cronnies “Hit The Road”….they are only Ruining the Brand.

  • Tim Carmell

    It’s looking very dated, though, at least to me.

  • OC Referee

    I love it…standout and is bold…I give them credit for trying to move past BR and try to reinvent itself.

  • Ruth

    The stylized flying eagle is cool BUT sadly, AA lost its brand recognition… Too bad, too sad… Money spent in the wrong place

  • No Name

    It strikes me that maybe they’re angling to keep their branding/design post-merger like Continental. The new logo/livery (flag covered tail) could potentially be a joint US Airways much more than the old AA could have.

  • Ken

    When I saw the inital announcement email, I though, great, here comes the merger announcement. Then I thought, what crap! This is what you spend your money on in bankruptcy? Then I realized this is the blend/rebranding for the UScareways merger. Then I threw up :)