The graphic image of crane in flight played a key role in shaping the image of LOT brand. It emerged in result of a competition, arranged in 1929 for the graphic sign to be used by newly created Polish Airlines. The logo was submitted by Warsaw artist Tadeusz Gronowski. Two years later, the logo officially became the emblem of Polish Airlines LOT, but the silhouette of the crane has been modified many times in the years to come. However modified, the crane still accompanies LOT pilots, flight attendants and passengers in their travels under the skies of the world...
Discussing LOT logo, one should also mention such significant elements as the company name and the colour pattern used to paint the airplanes.
The name of Polish national carrier has always been painted on the planes, first in standard white or black lettering, accompanied with LOT pennon shaped as a white and red triangle with a black crane in a circle. In 1938, after a spelling reform in Poland, the name of Polish Airlines LOT name acquired its present spelling.
At that time LOT airplanes were painted in blue and grey, with black letters and graphic signs. At times, the name of LOT was just painted on the metal, with black signs and letters. In all instances, the black image of crane was placed on the tail of aircraft.
After World War II, the first LOT airplanes were painted in military green and blue at the bottom, with civil aviation registration mark, the name of Polish Airlines LOT on the upper part of the plane, and – as ever – the crane silhouette placed on the tail. The words were rendered in plain capital letters, in black and white.
This pattern has been modified many times since then. In the 1950s and 1960s, the airplanes had a blue strip along their fuselage, ending with a crane head and company name in black, placed near the cockpit. The tail was decorated with a black and white strip. At the beginning of the 1970ties, the Polish name of the company and its English version Polish Airlines were placed on opposite sides of the fuselage. In the process of establishing its visual identity in the years 1945-1978, LOT tested at least 6 various colour schemes and 5 typefaces of the lettering. However, all of them included the crane image, although in different sizes, which has always been placed on the tail of the aircraft, together with the white and red stripes featuring Polish national flag.
In 1978, graphic artists Roman Duszek and Andrzej Zbrożek, authors of many renowned Polish logos, have developed a new graphic scheme for LOT airplanes, with their bodies painted in white with large LOT name in italics, placed on the front part of the fuselage.
The traditional symbol of the crane remained on the tail, but it was expanded to cover almost all the empennage. It was accompanied by Polish flag. The design was crowned with navy-blue strip along the whole body of the plane, with company names in Polish and in English placed over the strip. Gradually, all LOT aircraft acquired this new image.
In 1981, a new visual identification catalogue was generated on grounds of the new design, to cover all possible usages of the LOT name, symbol of the crane, binding typeface (so-called LOT alphabet) and the name of Polish Airlines LOT.
With the passage of time, the catalogue was supplemented with graphic patterns for all types of aircraft used by LOT, uniforms of cockpit crew and flight attendants and the symbols of Star Alliance.
In 2003, LOT joined Star Alliance, the world’s largest aviation alliance. To commemorate this fact, 3 LOT airplanes: Boeing 767, Boeing 737 and Embraer 170 acquired new promotional image emphasising Alliance membership, with a star- symbol of the Alliance painted against black background on their tails.
Their fuselages, painted in white, are marked with STAR ALLIANCE name in black, and LOT logo is placed below, in the front part of their bodies.