Monday, October 13, 2014

Classics: Air Canada, 1964

Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada, founded in 1937 as Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), a name it kept using until about fifty years ago when the current name was adopted. Air Canada was originally the French name for the airline, used in conjunction with the TCA moniker for several years until the latter was dropped in 1964, legally changing the airline's name on January 1, 1965.

Part of that transformation was the development of a new corporate identity, revealed to the public in October 1964. Air Canada contracted Stewart Morrison Roberts (later known as Stewart & Morrison), one of Canada's leading brand consultants at the time. They developed a modern identity draped in the national colours, red and white.

The logo is a new take on the encircled maple leaf and was designed by Hans Kleefeld, a German-born graphic designer who was creative director at SMR at the time. They naturally decided to keep the maple leaf, but stylised it and added a broken circle that starts at its stem. The lettering was designed to be uncluttered.

Air Canada logo used before 1963.

This identity proved very durable. The symbol is still in use, although it has been redesigned a couple of times, first in 1993 by Diefenbach Elkins who would later become part of Futurebrand who created the current version in 2004.

A collection of Air Canada timetables can be seen at Airline Timetable Images.

Logo used until 2004.

Logo used after 2004.

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