Cathay Pacific Logo

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Cathay Pacific is the major airline of Hong Kong. It operates the cargo and passenger flights in more than 190 destinations to 60 countries across the world, including Russia, Japan, China, US, European countries and many others. The company head offices and hubs, with all the company bosses, are located in Hong Kong International Airport.

Meaning and History

Cathay Pacific Logo history

The company was founded in the year 1946 by two businessmen, Sydney de Kantzow and Roy Farrell. The name of the company had a curious story: ‘Cathay’ was the ancient name of China, while the ‘Pacific’ part was advised by Farrell when he speculated that one day the company will fly through the Pacific Ocean (this happened in 1970).

Who owns Cathay Pacific?
It’s a private company, and most of the shares are controlled by the British and Hong Kong businessmen. However, there are also parts controlled indirectly by the Chinese government.

1946 – 1959

Cathay Pacific Logo 1946

The first logo is a vintage design from 1946, prominently featuring the acronym “CPA,” which stands for Cathay Pacific Airways. A stylized airplane is ascending diagonally across a globe that highlights the Asian continent, underlining the airline’s focus on the Far East. Bold, angular letters spell out the full name of the airline beneath the illustration. The color scheme includes a deep blue background with orange and white accents, giving it a classic mid-century feel. The text beneath the acronym is presented in Chinese characters, indicating the airline’s cultural roots and primary market. The overall design has a nostalgic and adventurous feel, evoking the early era of commercial aviation.

1959 – 1962

Cathay Pacific Logo 1959

The second logo, from 1959, represents a significant simplification compared to the earlier design. It features the name “cathay pacific airways” in a straightforward, bold sans-serif typeface, set against a simple dark blue background. The simplicity of the design reflects a mid-century modern aesthetic, focusing on clarity and readability. The blocky lettering suggests reliability and strength, and the use of lowercase letters gives the logo a more approachable and less formal appearance. There are no additional graphics or illustrations accompanying the text, indicating a shift towards a more modern and streamlined corporate identity.

1962 – 1969

Cathay Pacific Logo 1962

In the third logo, dated 1962, Cathay Pacific adopts an emblem that features an oval shape with a stylized representation of a plane’s wing or a propeller blade, along with a silhouette of an airplane. The company name encircles the emblem in bold, capitalized letters, creating a focal point that conveys motion and progress. The color palette is restricted to dark blue and white, implying professionalism and sophistication. The inclusion of the airplane silhouette directly associates the design with aviation, while the enclosing oval may symbolize the global reach of the airline. This logo balances the ideas of tradition and forward momentum.

1969 – 1983

Cathay Pacific Logo 1969

The first serious corporate logotype depicted the red capitalized inscription ‘Cathay Pacific’ of the bold sans-serif typeface with the gaps between letters. Above and below the name, we can see the explanations about the company’s served area, and finally on the right side from inscription there is the emblem of the wing with the flag on it.

1983 – 1994

Cathay Pacific Logo 1983

The following logotype represents the familiar red-colored name, with the inscription ‘The Swire Group’ below. The image from the flag remained, but it was a bit redesigned and put near the inscription below. The distinctive part of the entire emblem is the green-and-white image of the plane’s tail, placed on the right side from inscriptions.

1994 – 2014

Cathay Pacific Logo 1994

The 1994 logo depicted the green-colored company name, written in the thin sans-serif style with the gaps in the lettering. As for the emblem, so it was redesigned again. This time it had the image of the dark-green rectangle with the red underline. Over it, we can see the white wing, similar to the 1946 version.

What is Cathay Pacific?
It’s a major Hong Kong and, by extension, Chinese airline. Their whole premise is free travel throughout the Pacific region.

2014 – 2023

Cathay Pacific Logo 2014

The modern logotype, which is in use on the company offices’ signboards and jets, represents generally the same things as the predecessor, but the inscription was a bit lightened, and the green rectangle was removed. Anyway, due to the gentle and simple palette and its entire style, the logo is easy to use according to the situation and place.

2023 – now

Cathay Pacific Logo

The most recent logo takes a more abstract and contemporary approach. It consists of the word “CATHAY” in a bespoke, elegant typeface, with the letter “A” stylized to suggest a dynamic sweep or a bird in flight. This is complemented by a brush stroke that curves upwards, representing an airplane’s ascending trajectory and possibly the wing of a bird. The logo is monochromatic, using a deep teal color that conveys a sense of premium quality and modernity. The exclusion of any explicit aviation imagery marks a confident step towards a more refined and abstract branding, focusing on the essence and fluidity of flight rather than its literal representation.

Emblem and Symbol

Where does Cathay Pacific fly?
They fly primarily to China and the neighboring countries. However, there are also plenty of destinations across the Pacific, including Australia, United States and more.

There is also the social media version of the brand logotype. It uses the familiar wing from the original logotype, but this time it is placed alone on the white background. In collaboration with the name, placed left side from the logo on the social media page, it creates a curious tandem, where the name contributes the emblem.