The new Air India logo seems to be confusing people

Air India logo
(Image credit: Air India)

The jury is out on the new Air India logo, it seems. Some think it's a sleek execution of a clever concept, some think it looks bland and some people are just confused. 

Is that a bird or a plane flying alongside the wordmark? A hang-glider maybe? Nope, it's none of those. It's a gold window. Or at least part of a window viewed at an unusual angle. But you would kind of have to be told that to know. Somehow, I don't think this new design is going to make our pick of the best airline logos.

The old Air India logo and new Air India logo

The old design (left) and the new Air India logo (right) (Image credit: Air India)

Air India, the former Indian national airline now owned by Tata Group, is calling its new logo called "The Vista". Created with branding firm FutureBrand, it retains the red and white colours of the previous 2014 design, which comprises a swan and Konark Chakra, but adds a touch of gold.

The shaded gold mark that's getting most of the attention was inspired by the peak of traditional Indian window frames, which in the past have been painted on the outside of the windows on Air India planes. It's intended to symbolise a "window of possibilities" and "new hope and ambition".

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The animation in the presentation of the new logo and livery above makes the window reference clearer, but some people are still confused. "Nice logo for paragliding company," one person responded on Twitter. "That paper plane in the wind gives me even less confidence in the airline!," someone else wrote. 

Other people just think the design is "plain" and "banal". One person says it "has a bit of a clip art-meets-unlicensed video game look to it."

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One tweeter gave a more detailed review of the design: "Typeface: well intended to perhaps resemble jharokhas but looks outdated, even though it's custom made I think. Gold-colored design element: Pre Y2L clip art. Color: Indian color palette, nothing wrong but no effort or imagination to use it uniquely."

People aren't sure about the new livery either. "What is that on the tail, a sofa section?" one person asked. There have also been concerns about the fate of the airline's much-loved Maharaja mascot, but the company has said that he will still feature, but will a new look, including the addition of purple and gold colours.

Others have spoken more positively of the new logo design, predicting that it will grow on them. It's certainly refreshing to see an Airline break the mould and go with a different approach to logo design, with a deeper concept behind it, but given the context, it seems inevitable that people who don't know what it's supposed to represent will presume it's intended to be a bird or a plane.

For an airline logo that passed public approval with flying colours, see the Jetsmart logo, even if its hidden secret feels a little familiar. And for another logo controversy of the week, don't miss the debate about the Canberra Raiders rugby team's logo redesign.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.