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Decline of the West: 2

Landing at San Francisco Airport recently I saw an Air New Zealand plane. What immediately struck me was the tail logo: so serious, so proud, like a business suit. So British Commonwealth.

I thought the effect was due to the font, which was a serif font, and that all other airlines used mobile trendy san serif fonts. But then, a few days later, I realized that the flight I had been on, Continental, had a serif font too. And so did the logo of British Airways. On… I found that many airlines used serifs.

Nevertheless, Air New Zealand is the most staunchly conservative looking. I can’t quite figure out what it is about the logo, but it looks serious, much more so than SAA or BA. Perhaps it’s the lack of color: it’s just navy and white; or the Greek-columnar twirls at the top. It looks like a logo from the days when there were no logos and you put on a jacket and tie to take an airline trip. Just like banks going from being money temples to being cash machines, so airlines have gone from being companies you’d be proud to travel with to big buses.

But Air New Zealand is still maintaining its standards, even if it is an unwilling small-type Helvetica’d STAR ALLIANCE MEMBER.

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