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Poll: Which Logo Best Represents The Experimental Aircraft Association?


Please Vote In The Poll Above


 If you’ve only known the Experimental Aircraft Association in the last 10 years or so, the current logo on the right may be all you know, but people who’ve been around the EAA for many years know that there’s a rich history that goes with a logo that looked a lot more like the one on the left.  

 If it weren't for the fact that I’ve been an EAA member since 1970, when I was just 9 years old (I’m EAA# 57138), and that this will be my 33rd Oshkosh (not counting the 1969 Rockford convention I was at) I would never attempt to deal with the issue of the EAA logo design.  But, since I have a long and passionate history with this organization (that really is the ‘Spirit of Aviation’) I feel like I have a right to stir the pot on this issue.

 The original EAA logo looks a lot like the retro-styled one I designed above on the left, but I’ve actually made quite few detailed updates.  Most notable are the shortening of ‘association’ to just ‘assoc.’, which allows all of the letters to be quite a bit larger than before… and the airplane has been modernized a bit and includes a simple spinning prop detail.  There are other minor changes but you probably wouldn't notice without a direct comparison.

 The current logo, on the right above, seemed to be the product of an effort to mainstream the organization with more of an ad agency kind of feel to it.  I know I’m not alone in having been very frustrated that this logo was adopted… not only because it didn’t accurately reflect the organization, but also because it appeared it could actually have a negative effect overall.  There’s really no way of knowing what exactly the effect has been, but I know my gut tells me that it was definitely a step backward.

 So I recently took what graphic design skill I have and set out to produce a sample that I felt honored the early logo while also being strong and relevant to ‘today’, a logo to lead the organization into the future.  This poll is designed to give us all an idea as to how people feel about returning to a more retro styled logo.  Hopefully, if enough noise is made about this, the leaders will take a serious look at making what I believe is an essential change for the better.

 Which of the two logos above do you feel best represents 
the Experimental Aircraft Association?

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Reader Comments (12)

Looking at the current logo, it fits better in a patch or small space. The aircraft "hanging out the bottom" of the retro logo is funky but makes it "odd" for spacing on websites, letterheads and patches.

The other aspect of the current logo is that (to this outsider) it seems to reflect what the EAA is becoming (whether people like it or not). EAA seems to be moving away from its roots, becoming a more formal, structured, corporatised operation. The current logo seems to say "We acknowledge the change and that's where we want to go"

It also seems to be saying that they want to take the Experimental concept into the future & out into space.

Can the EAA go into the future & outer space without leaving its roots behind? Is this where EAA should be? Is there going to be a schism within EAA between the "old school" and the "new corporate" groups?

Fascinating times indeed and perhaps the logo issue is going to bring it out into the open?

I wrote Tom Poberezny when the new logo came out years ago and told him I thought it was a terrible logo. It looks like it was designed by a branding committee and they did a lousy job. The beauty of the old logo was that it was uniquely recognizable from a distance without being able to read it and it was the only sticker I had ever seen that you could recognize on a moving car. For an EAA member you could immediately recognize another member if the car was parked anywhere or if the member passed you on the highway. I have never noticed another logo that could do that. I agree with others that the new logo conveys nothing about the Experimental Aircraft Association.

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDean Billing

The old logo without the Goodyear racer would encompass all divisions.
At the time of the big change I pointed out that Ford wasn't likely to change its blue oval any time soon so why should EAA? I'm still waiting for a reply.

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered

I'm still a fan of the current logo; in my opinion, your redesign looks too much like a pinewood derby logo designed for the Boy Scouts; and the plane coming out of the bottom is just kind of "there" - you've got this nice circular structure and then you have a plane just dropping out of the bottom of it; it's not integrated at all.

Nice idea and I'm sure a retro logo would be nice, just not a huge fan of the current implementation.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I appreciate the comments from everyone as it's always interesting to see how people think.

I'll say that the 'airplane' being placed where it is (which essentially the way the logo was originally designed in 1953) is exactly what made that original design so unique. As I've seen others mention elsewhere, that design element made the EAA sticker immediately recognizable when spotted on a car back window (and it looked perfect when placed on any airplane) The retro design maintains that element for the same reason... there's nothing out there like it. And, while its shape is somewhat odd, the patch of that logo was a HUGE success in the 60's and 70's - almost everyone had either the cap with it on it or one of the jackets.

The other major issue is the need for the words 'experimental' and 'aircraft' to be understood. To most people, the letters EAA mean nothing at all, but spelling the words out fully informs (and very possibly stirs curiosity) in those who see it.

As the poll is currently showing, there is a huge amount of fondness for the way the old logo looked. In my many years being involved in the EAA, I never heard anyone say that the original logo just wasn't good enough, but I've heard tons of people express frustration that the new and somewhat lifeless 'jet' logo was adopted.

Lastly, since the 'jet' logo was put into place, the American culture has had two interesting shifts that make the original design far more relevant. First, we've seen a significant return to 'nostalgia' in graphic design. I don't think it's a fad, but rather the acknowledgement that a lot of what came from the past was simply great graphic design.

Second, the whole culture has gone 'extreme', from skateboards to motocross to skydiving to whatever. And if an extreme culture can't get excited at the idea of 'experimental' airplanes, then who can?

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

I don't have a favorite for either one of them. Get rid of the airplane at the bottom of the retro and it would be my favorite. Change the jet to a home built in the current logo and it would be my favorite. Change them both and again, I wouldn't be able to decide. Since the poll is which logo best represents the EAA, I chose the current logo. It depicts what the EAA is now, not 30 years ago.

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

I think the logo of the EAA should have an experimental aircraft on it like the new improved logo. I like it.

Jim B.

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Bandstra

This statement will tell you what I think of the new logo. Anybody have one of the old style logo decal that they can sell one to me.

I would expext that the FAA would not respond on a subject like this, but come on EAA. What would Paul do?

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalph King

The newer logo is thanks to the same sold-out mentality that brought us the hideous "Airventure" label. They both speak to a lack of sophistication on EAA’s part, that is to be duped into falling for those kind of homogenized “slick-ad” marketing ploys.

Here's to the EAA going back to being less of a circus and more the genuine grass-roots organization that we used to admire.

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob H.

A new online website started in May 2009 by a group of aircraft engineers to help students in aircraft engineering exams and engineers in aircraft type courses. A forums area for members to share their views, a place to upload pictures and videos and lots more. Membership is free and presently there is over 2700 members from 109 countries and growing daily.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAna

Dear Martt,
is it possible to get the classic retro style logo from you?
It would be great!
greetings and many thanks in advance.

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterremco

As far as the "New Old Logo" by Mr. Martt Clupper goes, he (and most of the old farts in EAA who prefer the old logo) know nothing about contemporary Branding, Identity and Marketing and how it transitions to all aspects of EAA Identity. The current Identity and let's refer to it as Identity and not just a logo, is appropriate for the times and for the future.

"Simplicity is the Unity of Multiplicity" (Thomas Aquinas)

We bemoan the fact that we can't attract younger blood and we have a majority it seems who want to go back to the look of a club for Grandpap, not reaching out to the grandsons who are the future to survival of the organization.

April 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRichard M. Seman

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