Advertising and Logo Design During the Jet Age

The first commercial jet was introduced by the British Overseas Aircraft Corporation in 1947.

This was a 36 seat Comet 1, built by Geoffrey de Havilland.

The very first official flight where passengers could board the plane was in 1952.

The route was from London to Johannesburg in South Africa, with stops in Rome, Sudan, Kenya, and near Victoria Falls.

This was a truly revolutionary time in air travel.

Before commercial jet engines, aeroplanes could only travel at around 180mph.

The de Havilland Comet could transport people to their destination comfortably at 480 mph.

De Havilland Comet

The interior design of the de Havilland Comet included reclining seats, large windows, and separate toilets for men and women.

Amenities included a galley kitchen which offered a range of hot and cold food and refreshments, a standalone bar, and tables and seats set aside for dining.

This is much different from today's squashed economy class designs with cheap trays and factory-line style of providing means and refreshments during the journey.

The Comet Advertising and Logo Design

The brochure that introduced the comet had a picture of the globe with a plane flying overhead and presented it as ‘the newest, fastest airliner in the world'.

The name itself has direct associations with speed and space, thus painting a vibrant picture in the consumer's mind of soaring through the skies.

Comet Advertising Logo Design

The interior of the brochure offers informative material about the actual design of the comet.

The potential passenger is reassured that ‘BOAC will take care of you', and there are several generic photos showing passengers relaxing and being served by stewards.

The brochure highlights the personal vibe of old-school brochures and general advertising from this era.

Many mainstream airlines included pop-art-esque images of smiling passengers, and priority was placed on the quality of service as opposed to price.

Despite being the first commercial jet, the Comet was not an overall success.

It suffered from bad press due to there being several fatal accidents.

These accidents were first thought to be due to pilot error, but it was then discovered that there were some design flaws in the aircraft itself.

Boeing 707 Advertising and Logo Design

One of the best known commercial jets is the Boeing 707.

Even people who don't know a thing about aviation have probably heard the Boeing name in some capacity.

This speaks to its ongoing solid reputation as a successful commercial jet plane.

Pan Am was the first airline to fly a scheduled transatlantic flight using a jet built in America when it launched the Boeing 707 in 1958.

Panam 707 Branding

The flight inauguration was a very classy and sophisticated event.

When you see pictures of the airline staff, you're immediately brought back to a time of old-world glamour.

The pilots and stewards all wore chic, military-style uniforms.

This was part of a thoughtful branding scheme that considered every minor detail, from the bag tags to the tickets themselves.

Advertising During the Jet Age

Airline Advertising

The jet age was an exciting time concerning air travel.

Major airlines took advantage of advertising trends, and many award-winning artists and illustrators designed campaigns that are still memorable today.

For example, David Klein, who worked in a variety of artistic roles during his career, was hired by Trans World Airlines in 1955 to 1965.

He created illustrations that showed different countries, complete with symbols intrinsic to that country's culture.

The simple but effective slogan was the name of the place, teamed with a simple ‘fly TWA'.

In advertising terms, he connected the notion of adventure and seeing the world with TWA.

Twa Logo Design

Klein's work is just one example of how airlines during the jet age promoted escapism in their advertising.

The jet engine aircraft themselves also had bold logos — who can forget the sleek ‘U' designed by Saul Bass in 1974 for United Airlines?

United Airlines Saul Bass Logo

It is often called the ‘tulip', and United Airlines kept this design for over 35 years.

Unfortunately, when they merged with Continental in 2010, United Airlines lost its brand identity and adopted the forgettable blue globe that is Continental's logo.

When companies merge, it sure says a lot that even the logo design must give way to bureaucracy.

The Dawning of a New Jet Age?

Virgin Atlantic Uniform

Are today's jets as bold in design as the first jet engines? Absolutely.

In fact, the latest private jet interior design trends have transformed into a booming business sector.

The interiors of today's jets are as impressive as the lifelike and bold visual identities of jet age specimens.

Modern jets feature everything from door-to-ceiling windows to smart appliances capable of cleaning and maintaining themselves.

Modern design incorporates functionality and practicality but prioritises luxury.

So, while the first commercial jets were designed with comfort in mind, and mainstream commercial airlines tend to prioritise maximum capacity over space.

Today's private jet charters are paving the way for the dawning of a new jet age.

This new age offers consumers the chance to experience the magical, other-worldly aspect of air travel once again.