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United & Continental New Logo AKA How To Waste Millions of Dollars On Your Brand ID

After the United Airlines and Continental Airlines merger was announced last week, the “new” updated brand ID was announced, which really put off the entire blogging design community.

First, it should be said that Saul Bass actually designed BOTH the United Airlines logo AND the Continental logo in the late 1960s. United updated theirs with the help of Pentagram and Continental moved in an entirely new direction opting for the clip art globe.

Brand New covered the merger creative last week. (Image from Brand New.)

Hmm, I’m not sold. Looks like United just gave in and accepted Continental’s brand ID. If you take a vote, United’s brand ID and logo are seriously stronger than Continental’s. Let’s take a look at the logo elements individually.

United is pretty much stronger across the board. I think the blue and yellow color scheme of Continental has similar potential to the United blue and red, but until the ID system is rolled out in it’s entirety across print work, billboards, credit cards, etc., it’s hard to tell.

Oh wait, I think I’ve seen this before?

Why lose the momentum that United has with their existing brand ID for something that pretty much already exists. Not sure if Copa is one of Continental’s partners. Hopefully, I never check out in a terminal where Copa and Contintental are both located. Might get visually confusing…. SINCE THEY ARE THE SAME.

So I thought about it and came up with the perfect logo for United moving forward.
It’s the original logo.

No offense, but I’d place my faith in Saul Bass and Pentagram’s work any day. United’s existing logo is memorable, and plain out good. No need to muddy it up. Millions of dollars went into United Airlines rebranding in the last 10 years and there is no reason to create a Frankenstein of the two companies for the sake of corporate “playing nice.” If the new company is going to be called United Airlines, don’t give up on a good thing.

Wait, don’t I hear the airlines on the news every night talking about how much money they are losing, so they need to pass the fees on to the consumer? This entire rebrand is especially concerning considering the MILLIONS of dollars it will cost to redesign/reprint/revamp billboards, print material, airplane exteriors, etc. And it will take millions. With all the news about fuel prices, new fees, higher priced tickets, I think it would be a GREAT idea to save this money and get it back to the people. Maybe drop a fee or two. 😉

There are tons of places to read about this. Lots of designers are talking.

We also covered this with The Great Pepsico Tropicana Fiasco of 2009.

This post is written by and is the sole opinion of Jason Schwartz, Creative Director of Bright Bright Great.

Posted By
Jason Schwartz