Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This post is not exactly automotive related, but it does involve transportation in general, so I think it gets a pass. I just wanted to take the time to lament the disappearance of Northwest Airlines, which will be fully absorbed into Delta as of February of next year.

Now I'll admit, this lamentation doesn't make a whole lot of objective sense, since, even though I've flown NWA plenty in recent years due to the fact that Detroit is one of their hubs, I didn't regard this carrier as having any better prices, service, or anything really, than the competition. No, my sadness is based wholly on the loss of a logo. And it's not even their current logo.

For many years I've considered the Northwest logo that was used until a few years ago to be one of the great masterpieces of corporate design. Just look at all the elements that come together beautifully. The N is the most obvious, but the artist figured out how to convert into a W with a simple triangle. Not only that, but that triangle is positioned perfectly to be part of a compass, which points to none other than the Northwest.

I'll admit, the logo with which it was replaced a few years ago does look more modern, but it has nowhere near the layered complexity of this marque.
And I've got to believe that had NWA retained its independence, the company would have unveiled "the logo to
end all logos" in another decade or so, which would have returned to this motif, but with a more polished and pleasing finish.

But alas we'll never get to see that. And for that, I'm am deeply sorry.

1 comment:

mcniadh said...

I agree that the 1990s NW logo was a true masterpiece. The only consolation I have is that the new Delta tail logo points to the northwest, at least on the left side of the plane. Other than that, I am all for the merger. The service and schedules are much better now, and they serve Coke products.