The logo of LOT Polish Airlines, designed at the turn of 1929 and 1930 by Tadeusz Lucjan Gronowski, has become an integral and recognizable part of the Polish brand. Its elegant design, combined with its dynamic and modern form, has perfectly fulfilled its role for almost a hundred years.
Gronowski, a graduate of the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, was involved in designing the Polish Pavilion at the International Exhibition in 1925. He also collaborated with the leading Polish magazines as a graphic designer. His artistic practice included painting, applied arts and poster design. He received numerous awards, such as the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1925 and a gold medal for the design of the Polish Pavilion at the World's Fair in New York in 1939.
He gained recognition for his extremely dynamic visual messages, which were at the same time economical in form and colour. Despite the large aesthetic variety in his portfolio, Gronowski’s works contain distinguishing features. His creative approach to drawing consisted of reducing the number of elements in the objects and simplifying their shapes, which allowed him to bring out their essential attributes. He also had a unique talent for showing movement and rhythm.
At the turn of 1929 and 1930, Gronowski took part in a competition held by LOT to design a new logo for their company. His winning design found widespread use, creating a recognizable corporate visual identity.
Gronowski’s logo is based on a circle, in which he inscribed the stylized silhouette of a crane in flight. Like his other designs, LOT’s crane is characterized by a simplified form reduced to a flat surface, which renders it supremely modern -- as was the objective of the project. Gronowski focused on the simplicity and clarity of the message. The logo is uncluttered, yet memorable. The silhouette of the crane barely touches the circle with its wingtips, beak and tail, which gives the logo an effect of lightness and finesse. The logo has become embedded firmly enough in the minds of the public that recent attempts to modernize it were met with outcry from LOT's staff and passengers alike.
Author: Agata Morka, January 2015, transl.GS