This month United Airlines and Continental Airlines presented its new corporate branding for the merged airlines (Before below) and then changed its mind to UNITED in caps with the Continental globe (After below). The new design has taken my breadth away. But not in a good way. I can’t really think of many incredible brand marketing blunders on this scale. With millions of dollars at their disposal it is shocking to see such an underwhelming effort against a backdrop of two venerable and highly visible brands as United and Continental. Take a look for yourself.

(Before)                                                                 (After)

The new logo, as the companies explained in its press release, “displays the combined company’s brand name in capital letters (UNITED) in a custom sans-serif font, joined with the global mark which has represented Continental’s brand image since 1991.

Actually what it does is presents the brand in the most bland way possible and throws in the “world image” as an after thought. It all gets muddled on plane display.

Perhaps the worst part is if you didn’t know that the two airlines had merged to form the world’s largest airline, you probably wouldn’t have thought anything about it. That’s not the point of a new brand identity though. Or is it? Perhaps they didn’t want to draw attention to themselves. What do you think? What’s certain is, no one will notice, and that’s not good brand identification.