A logo can make or break an airline in terms of branding. According to the image makers of these airline companies, the logo or livery (and the gamut of colors that go with it) represents the company ideals and to a large extent, the identity and culture of its home country.
Typical of an airline livery consists of people, animals (mythical and real), flags and coat of arms/emblems. There are a handful of airlines which sport symbols, odd shapes, decorative handwriting and play on colors. These visual traits make airlines more recognizable.
Visual recognition is achieved over time. Some airline logos/liveries never changed since its inception making them national icons of their respective countries. If changes are applied, usually these are kept to a minimum.
Airlines love glamorizing their logo. When a new font is used or a change of color is applied, expect a kilometric explanation to follow describing these boring and uneventful changes. To common folks there are just two criteria: beautiful or ugly. People don’t bother to know, much more read, the reason behind these changes.
In the last five years, quite a number of airlines have changed liveries. There are hits and misses (and some totally missed the mark big time!). There are radical and subtle changes in colors, fonts and cheatlines which are ‘revolutionary’ aesthetically or simply an ‘evolution’ from the old design.
Cathay Dragon (ex-Dragonair)