Australia famously has a large barely populated area in the middle of the country. Naturally, you won’t find too many hospitals there, which is why they came up with RFDS – a non-commercial organization that flies to people in need all over the Outback and provides medical help there.
The organization was created in 1928 by Reverend John Flynn. He came up with the idea of establishment that flies all over the arid inner areas of Australia, help people on the spot or take them to the nearest hospital where they can receive proper help. They are colloquially known as ‘Flying Doctor’.
The first logo was adopted in 1934. It was monochrome and depicted country’s borders (minus Tasmania). In the middle, it had a Maltese Cross – the rectangular cross used as a symbol for medicine. Furthermore, the Cross had to wings (to symbolize the flying aspect) and two lightning bolts (to symbolize radio communication).
Interestingly, it could easily be mistaken for a symbol of some Nazi organization, because it used many similar graphic elements.
In 1942, they reduced the Australian silhouette in size and remove the zigzag symbols from its sides.
The 1945 logo was visibly much more complex. The map was now much closer to the actual silhouette, and they put it inside a round seal-like shape with the frame that said then-name of the organization. Notably, they also dotted the map in the places where their bases have been at the time.
There are many more elements, such as: the wings sprouting from the sides, three propeller wings, snakes, lightning bolts coming out from the bottom (symbolizing the radio again), the laurel wreath in the bottom, and the words ‘aviation’, ‘medicine’ and ‘radio’ right below the main structure.
They repositioned the wreath and also added the word ‘Royal’ to the name featured in the seal’s frame.
The dots on the map were replaced with stars in this iteration.
The 1988 logo was instead very simple – the usual medical cross, the bottom and right of which are covered with a wing. That gets the point across very well and increases comprehensiveness.
When making this logo, they largely took inspiration from the 1993 logo, but this time they made things simpler and less posh. It was now just an orange (the color of Outback) map of Australia inside a white, blue-outlined circle with two wide, blue wings sticking out of each side.
Behind it were, again, a couple of snakes and a three-winged propeller – all colored orange. They also used to put the full name in thin official typeface below the main emblem.
In 2009, they increased the saturation for much of the logo, added a glint effect and also changed the font for the writing below. The letters were still blue, but also softer, more flexible and less serious.
Apart from all the symbols described above, they also use the acronym ‘RFDS’ very frequently. For instance, they put it on the tails of their airplanes in a vertical sequence because people largely know what this acronym stands for, and it’s easier to read, owing to the bold, blocky font they use for it.