The other 'meatball'
Clarence Lee's 1969 logo for Northwest Orient
In the early part of the 1950s, having established its transpacific routes, Northwest Airlines–previously Northwest Airways–began trading as Northwest Orient Airline and pushed ahead with expansion. This expansion introduced new aircraft to the fleet, increasing flights, speed and passenger volume, and improving overall comfort. However, as the airline grew its fleets and destinations, by the late 1960s a mix of fonts, colours and design elements, as well as inconsistent naming which included Northwest, Northwest Airlines, Northwest Orient and NWA, had led to a ‘communicative dissonance’ in the marketing of the airline to potential passengers. With this in mind, Northwest Orient Airlines sought out a designer to develop a unified corporate image and logo.