Airline logos don’t have a reputation for being fun. One stands out, though, and that’s because it has a kangaroo. Qantas, the famous Australian airline, has an incredibly memorable logo due to its use of its own home country’s most famous animal. The kangaroo Qantas logo has been through a few changes over the years, but each has kept the same core spirit. By looking at the changes in design, one can see how Qantas has – and has not – changed.
Qantas Logo Design Elements
If you’re familiar with the Qantas logo, you already know and love the kangaroo. This symbol of Australia has definitely given the company ties back to its home country and helps its planes to stand out in international airports. It’s as easily identifiable as the red-white-and-blue logo schemes from US airlines, with an added bit of whismy. It’s honestly a clever bit of marketing that helps everyone know exactly from where Qantas flies and how connected it is to Australia.
The primary color of the logo is red, which isn’t that uncommon in the skies. It’s easy to see and stands out against the white of the average plane, so it’s also eye-catching. The font is simple, large and easy to read so that consumers can identify it both on planes and on ticket stubs. It’s a good marriage of utility and design, one that helps Qantas to stay visible in a crowded market.
Changes and Evolution
The original Qantas logo shape was actually quite different than what you see in the present day. Rather than the triangular shape, the logo featured a circular badge. It also featured a much more realistic-looking kangaroo, which was itself set within another circle. By 1947, the badge was dropped in favor of the kangaroo jumping next to a globe. This logo would stay in place until 1968, at which time the kangaroo would be back in a circular badge and grow wings. That logo, in turn, would be replaced in the 1980s by something more similar to today’s logo, which reflected the company’s more professional turn.
Qantas’ main logo color has always been red. It stood out in the 1940s and it stands out today. The company has never dropped the color, but they have changed a few augmentations along the way. The logo was initially red and white but gained black lettering in 1968 that would stay in place until the 2007 switch over to grey. If anything, this change is a sign of the changing attitudes about color in logo design over the years.
Qantas has used two different types of font in its logos. The original font was a simple typeface that actually communicated a great deal of information. It was dropped entirely, however, in 1947 as the company chose to rely only on the kangaroo emblem. A version of the current wordmark would go into place in 1968, with relatively few tweaks separating it from the 2007 version of the logo. It’s an easy-to-read font that is as easy to read at a distance as it is to read when you’re right next to the plane.
Oddly, the biggest influence on the current Qantas logo is mechanical. The 2007 logo was changed in part to keep up with changes in the structure of Qantas’ aircraft, which helped to explain the somewhat sleeker look. The new logo isn’t a far cry from the 1980s logo, which was likely inspired by the logo changes of Qantas’ international competition at the time.
There aren’t any airlines that have followed Qantas’ lead in terms of design, but a few other businesses have done so. There are a number of Australian businesses that use a similar logo design, largely owing to the company’s popularity in its native country. The big design element taken has been the kangaroo, though some have also taken the triangle design as well.
- Qantas is Australia’s largest airline.
- Qantas is the world’s third oldest airline.
- Qantas’ longest flight is from Dallas to Sydney – the second longest direct flight in the world.
- Qantas pilots aren’t allowed to eat the same meal on flights to prevent both from getting food poisoning.
- Qantas originated the name ‘Business Class’ in 1979.
- Qantas was one of the first airlines to make the switch over to jet planes.
The Qantas logo is a great example of how sticking to a single image can help a logo stay grounded in a company’s legacy. Though the logo has changed, the kangaroo remains the primary image of the company. Fun and easily identifiable, it helps customers to be able to identify Qantas no matter what the changes in corporate ideology.