Does #newamerican reinforce old stereotypes of Americans?

On January 17th American Airlines launched it’s new livery and brand identity.  #newamerican replaces the classic theme the company has used for the last 42 years and also includes a revision of the classic American eagle that has adorned its ‘silver birds’ since 1967.  Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the outgoing livery has described the new logo and livery as ‘having no permanence’ and the reaction from social media commentators has been mixed.

Personally, I think it’s a mess.  The tail fin design is unrefined, the font used for the American letter is plain – the company has moved away from the Helvetica Neue Bold it’s used for the last four decades] and the fact it wraps over the window line just doesn’t look good.  I thought it was a mess from day one, but wanted to take some time to live with it rather than rushing to judgement.  Having done that I still think it’s a little gawdy and I can’t  help feeling it reinforces many of the negative stereotypes that  many people from around the world associated with America – a little too loud, a little unrefined, and flag-waving at every opportunity – often a bit inappropriately.   The new logo resembles a pair of 80s 3D TV glasses more than an evolution of the American eagle.  What do you think?

I’ve also been having an interesting conversation with a few friends [@JennaLee, @JoeyJOH, @WirelessWench, @Amoyal and @MsMobileConverg on Twitter and we’re planning a Google Hangout to talk about the challenge faced by companies looking to re-brand – especially when their existing colours are such an intricate part of the fabric of the organization.

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