In an unusually tart statement, the U.S. Copyright Office has refused to issue copyright protection to the logo American Airlines has been using since 2013.
“While the bar for creativity is low, it does exist and the work cannot glide over even its low heights,” the office said in January 2018.
FutureBrand created the 2013 identity, which has now been denied protection three times: in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The refusal clearly has not stopped the airline from using the design, and it is now taking the governmental agency to court.
The copyright office is not the first to express displeasure with the identity, however. The late Massimo Vignelli, creator of the previous, 40-year-old design, wasn’t wild about it either.
“It has no sense of permanence,” he said. “There was no need to change. Every other airline has changed its logo many times, and every time was worse than the previous one. We proceeded by logic, not emotion. Not trends and fashions.”
In the next three years, Aer Lingus will be rolling out a new brand identity, replacing a system that has been in use for almost 25 years. No new samples have been offered, but the airline will be offering free beer, wine, and Wi-Fi on future flights, which should help customers embrace change.