This week, American Airlines (AAMRQ) revealed a bold new look for its fleet, retiring a design that hadn’t changed since 1967. (Among others, Twitter didn’t like it.) We caught up with designer Massimo Vignelli, the creator of the airline’s outgoing logo, to ask his opinion.
What do you think of the redesign?
It has no sense of permanence. The American flag is great. I’m designing a logo now for a German company, and I’m using black, red, gold, and yellow. Why? Because national colors have a tremendous equity. They’re much more memorable. It rings the bell of identification. But the American flag has 13 stripes, right? Not 11. Did American add only 11 stripes [to the flag on the tail] because they are in Chapter 11? I don’t think two more stripes would have been a disaster. And there are only two colors shown instead of all three. So is it a different flag?