United Airlines

In April 2010, United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced they were merging. This was rumored long before the announcement, and one of the biggest questions being asked was regarding the brand: whose name and logo would they keep? I decided to present how I would handle the merged logo and livery.

My focus was on finding a unique way of combining the two logos in an effective, memorable way. One of my first concepts was to literally merge the United “Double U” logo with the Continental “globe” logo. I was initially pleased with the result, being a much less experienced designer. I posted it in various outlets online, and the logo became extremely popular with over 100,000 views after the new logo disappointed many enthusiasts who were hoping for something more.

Later on, I started to realize that this logo would not work for several reasons: I could not produce a one-color rendition that looked clear, pleasing to the eye, and true to the original form. Also, when seen from a distance the globe aspect of the logo would quickly lose its clarity and look like a smudge.

Inspired again in 2012 after watching an interview with Saul Bass, I decided to again attempt a new logo for United Airlines. After numerous sketches, I came up with the idea of using horizontal lines of the same weight and distance apart as the main “horns” of the Double U logo, crossing against the original Saul Bass logo to create the abstract impression of the Continental globe within the new United Airlines logo.



  1. kit
    October 17, 2012 - 6:42 am ·

    Why in the world can’t we just have the Tulip, unmodified and exactly how Saul Bass made it? The airline is UNITED AIRLINES, not Continental. I’m sick of the entitlement from the CO fanboys who insist every little thing from their overrated airline survive. The airline is named United, and while it sadly no longer acts like United, United’s logo should remain. Period.

  2. Anthony Harding
    October 18, 2012 - 1:47 am ·

    Kit, thank you for your comment!

    I think there is merit to both United and Continental’s branding pre-merger, and my goal was to see if I could effectively combine elements of both to create a greater whole. I must honestly admit I do feel a little guilty in “tampering” with the Saul Bass icon. Simply in my opinion, it is a real tragedy that the “Double U” logo is not surviving the merger as it is among the greatest airline logos of all time.

  3. Gary
    November 8, 2012 - 4:37 am ·

    I agree. Don’t mess with the Saul Bass creation. It’s timeless, however that United Airlines is long gone anyway. It’s now Continental Airlines with a United title.

  4. Anthony C
    November 18, 2012 - 5:35 pm ·

    This merger isn’t of equals and is not even close!!!! They just put the UA name on CO’s fleet and than destroy the Tulip!! I’m betting Saul Bass is crying in heaven because of this calamity!!! He did design a meatball design before the globe came in, which in my opinion is so much better than this!! What I would love to see is a combo of the Tulip and Meatball make a comeback!