Some marriages seem made in heaven, while others just don’t seem to fit. EADS, also known as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, was one of these marriages. Created from the merger of three companies from Germany, France, and Spain, the company included a wide range of products and an equally wide range of smaller divisions that didn’t seem to go together. The logo designs for these companies, which include Airbus, Cassidian, Eurocopter, and Astrian, did nothing to contribute to a sense of unity. With very different sets of fonts, images, and colours, this was not a marriage made in heaven.
However, EADS recently rebranded both the parent company and its subsidiaries to get a more united front. The former EADS logo design featured black writing in front of a light grey image of a rocket taking flight. A navigational symbol in sky blue adds interest and colour to the logo design. The new logo design is much simpler, with the name of the company in more modern lettering. Bevels and shadowing create a 3-D effect that suggests technology and space age innovation.
While this logo design may seem a little plain for a company of this stature, especially considering the detail in the predecessor, it is simple because its elements are used in every other logo design involved in the brand. Each and every logo design in the parent company has been redrawn to fit under this umbrella, so versatility was a necessity. The bevelling, metallic shine and the space age font are used in all of the new logo designs. The new logo designs keep their former colours—hence the lack of colour in the EADS logo. They also keep their former logo images, which are now placed in a grey circle for a sense of uniformity.
This may not be the most stunning set of logo designs on the continent, but it lives up to a lofty goal: uniting three very different company cultures and an even greater number of logos into one believable brand identity. The parent logo design has to be plain, but it has technological touches that relate to its main industry. The new logos are no less aesthetically pleasing than the old ones, but they seem to fit into the same family. This most likely was the goal of the rebrand, so we can call it a success.
The biggest loser here seems to be Airbus. This aircraft company had perhaps the most recognizable logo design of the group, and its current incarnation maintains little of its former personality. The recognizable logo image that once defined the company has been shrunken and squeezed into a tiny sphere. However, as any psychologist or clergy will tell you, marriage is all about compromise. The new identity blends industries as disparate as military aircraft and satellite telecommunications in a believable and (relatively) attractive way, which is quite a laudable accomplishment.