Editorial: Japan Airlines Logo Revival is a Mistake
Japan Airlines has decided to return to a logo it used for over 40 years. This is a Bad Idea.
By Karn G. Bulsuk
After emerging from bankruptcy, Japan Airlines has decided to dump its modern logo to revert back to the crane logo it used for almost 40 years.
While JAL President Masaru Onishi justified it by stating that it was an attempt to go "back to the basics, when we had the spirit of challenge," it almost seems defeatist to look backwards in an attempt to go forwards. Having once been a state enterprise with all the inefficiencies associated with that label, it is odd that they look to the past for inspiration. In fact, it is because of the government entity legacy that caused them to go bankrupt in the first place, creating too many unneeded jobs and continually flying unprofitable routes.
|Japan Airline planes with the current logo and livery|
The font used on the plane reading "Japan Airlines" has been updated as well, moving from a crisp sans serif to a thick, Arial Bold like font. "JAL is a premium-heavy airline and their aircraft/branding needs to look as such," comments Gilbert Choy, a plane enthusiast. Unfortunately, it practically screams "budget airline", while the lack of contrasting colour or motif near the front of the plane makes the whole design look unbalanced. The use of all-caps has also been depreciated in the past decade, making the whole plane like a relic from the 1980s.
Re-branding carries costs as well. JAL will need to "update" their logo on everything that bears the JAL emblem, from envelopes to flight attendant pins.
My message to JAL: don't bring back the crane. A logo is a very powerful image - are you sure you want to bring back the past with all its baggage along for the ride?
|The first JAL plane to be painted with the "new" livery|
Not quite a photographer: Plane watching from Narita
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