Swiss Airlines has a rich history that has been hidden in the archives for quite some time. On March 26th, 1931 when Swissair formed, I doubt anyone at the time really considered the history that they were going to be making with the company’s design. Balair and Ad Astra were the two companies that merged to form Swissair. Throughout the years they’ve changed logos many times but there was one that was most memorable (above). Quite possibly it was the best logo that the company has ever used.
Thanks to SR692 we’re able to chronologically walk through past logos used by Swissair. Some great, some not so great and a few that were very, very experimental. I’d love to hear what you think about some of these logos so hit the jump to continue reading and see more images.
Check out Part Two of this post » Swiss Airlines Posters.
1931: Early Logo Development
The first couple of years were experimental for the company. They didn’t have a standardized logo and in fact they weren’t always called Swissair in print; sometimes they were Swiss Airlines, Switzerland Air.
1940s: Classic logo
The 1940s would be the start of the company having a standard logo on the livery of their airplanes. It could be just me but it seems that this logo has the “war” vibe attached with it—from the color to the typeface.
1950s: Swissair Signet and Dynamic Typeface
This mark was created by Reudi Bircher for the purpose of providing a literal representation of the line of business that the company was. You can read more about the signet in this article written by Bircher.
Along with the arrow comes this beautiful typefaces that signifies motion in the same efforts that the signet does. You can see many different versions of each being used. Some the combination of the two and some separated. All around I would have to say this was their strongest rebrand the company has ever seen. Wouldn’t you agree?
1960s-70s: Swissair Signet
The company seemingly started removing “Swissair” from the inner of the arrow and only used it externally. You can see in the images below where the signet started to live in the wild as a mark by itself. Still the company would retain the great design that I truly still wish were around today.
1980-2000: Last Swissair logo
Starting in 1981, Swissair had its 50th anniversary and “modernized” its logo and aircraft livery. Initially they weren’t strict about the logo and there were quite a few versions, leaving the brand somewhat patchy.
It’s always interesting to see logos that weren’t used because they’re often really interesting. Some of the marks here were extremely abstract and you probably couldn’t see this ever being used. The logos I’m guessing were shot down because of how radical they were to airlines or Swissair’s competitor logos.
All images complimentary of the SR692 Archive.