In 2009, two of the largest and oldest airline carries in Latin America — TACA (est. 1931) and Avianca (est. 1918) — announced their merger and in 2012 they indicated that the Avianca name would take over both airlines. This week, TACA is no more and Avianca has taken over the 160-airplane fleet to serve the 5,100 weekly flights for 100 destinations in 25 countries across America and Europe. The merger and launch strategy and the new identity were designed by New York, NY-based Lippincott.
“It was important to create a new visual identity that was reflective of the heritage and legacy of both Avianca and TACA but also ushered the brand into its new era of Latin Excellence,” said to Rodney Abbot, Sr. Partner at Lippincott. “We wanted the new identity to build on the symbolic power of the Condor, a symbol long associated with Avianca in a form that figuratively links South, Central and North America.”
— Lippincott press release (provided)
The change is bittersweet as it relates to the two previous logos: the TACA logo (also by Lippincott) was a very nice one and I’ll miss it, but the Avianca logo was quite forgettable and unpleasant, with its “A” caught on fire. For such a large new airline the logo and identity seem remarkably low-key, almost as if they are trying to downplay their dominance and size. It’s like there is no “oomph” anywhere to be found and it could have used some. The new icon is a decent representation of a mighty bird (in this case the condor) but it doesn’t take an eagle-eyed viewer to see the similarity in construction to the new American Airlines logo. I am not saying, at all, that Avianca copied AA, as I am sure the identity process for Avianca has been going on since before AA was launched. It’s just an unfortunate similarity within the same industry. To its credit, I much prefer the simple, single-color solution of Avianca that is more dynamic and engaging. The new wordmark is fine, if somewhat unrelated to the icon and a little overpowering. The livery and applications feel very timid, although competently done all around. Overall, it’s all okay but I wish it were a little more than that.