Garuda Indonesia is the major airline company in Indonesia. That being said, they offer flights all over Asia, and even beyond. The company has one of the largest fleets in the regions, which is one of the factors of their success. The other is that it has full support of the Indonesian government, Garuda being a national logo.
Garuda as it is was created in 1949, although the names varied in different combinations of ‘Garuda’, ‘Indonesia’ and ‘Airways’ over the years. The most important part – Garuda – is not a nonsensical addition. It’s actually a Hindu and Buddhist mythical creature that was essentially a king of birds, among other things.
The first Garuda logo was a depiction of a red flag that consisted of two triangular cloths (much like the Nepalese flag, actually). These were the colors of Indonesia back then, so it still passes. In-between the two cloths was the golden bird. It’s simultaneously an Indonesian coat of arms and a symbolic depiction of Garuda, which is neat.
Above and below the flag, the designers put blocks of text. The upper one said ‘Garuda’ in a black hand-written manner, while the lower one said ‘Indonesian Airways’ in the same style.
The whole thing was then encircled by a red ring.
The 1969 design was a simplification. It also said ‘Garuda Indonesian Airways’, but that’s it – there was nothing else. The text itself was completely red and written in lowercase. As expected, the first word occupied much of the space, while the latter two nested below it.
In 1985, the company was renamed to just ‘Garuda Indonesia’, and they also changed the logo for the occasion. The writing was now blue, was tilted slightly to the right and used an official-looking serif typeface. Immediately to the right was a bird – no doubt a symbol of Garuda.
It was actually a head with four hook-like features below it – the colors ranging from dark blue on top to paler blue below.
In 2009, the writing was pretty much all that changed. The font was now thinner and more homogenous. The letters turned black and straightened out. They also lowered their position in relation to the emblem, but that’s about it.
The blue bird livery was used as a tail decoration until 2009. Past that point, the rear was decorated with just blue paint drawn in a feathery pattern. The emblem, for its part, move to the front of the plane, where it was located next to the writing part, just like on the official logo.