Bristol and the origins of the Airplane Company logo

My typography research is giving me the chance to record lettering and typographic signs relevant in the definition of the sense of place, in the city of Bristol. This journey, that implies the walk from my place to the centre, confirms how the city is full of amazing examples of lettering!
In particular, between Old Market and Cabot Circus I was able to record the multiple presence of the symbolic “Bristol” logo.

The Bristol aircraft logo was born to give an identity to the Bristol Airplane Company, a British aircraft company established in 1910. The company became famous during the World War I and the major manufacturers of civil aircraft after the war, playing an important role in the economy of the city.

The “Bristol” logo can be considered a sign of cultural and local identity and a powerful instrument of emotional connection with a place, against the standardization of the urban space and the conformation of high street signs, which contribute to the lost of the city’s identity and to the creation of “non-places” (Augé, 2008).



Augé, M. (2008) Non-places, an introduction to supermodernity. London: Verso.

Barnes, C.H. (1964) Bristol Aircraft Since 1910. London: Putnam.

BAE System Heritage (2016) Bristol Aeroplane Company (Online). Available at: (Accessed: 14th Dec 2016).



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