KLM Logo


The KLM logo is one of the most recognizable airlines in the world. It consists of several elements that have their own symbolic meaning.

In the center of the logo is the abbreviation KLM, written in large, bold letters in blue. The blue color symbolizes the sky and infinity and conveys a sense of reliability and professionalism.

Above the acronym is a crown, which is the symbol of the Royal Dutch Airline. This emphasizes the company’s association with the royal house and its long history of existence.

At the bottom of the logo, the company name is written in English, “Royal Dutch Airlines.” This reflects the connection between the Royal House of Holland and the company’s past.

In addition, all emblem elements are in the same color, creating a unified and coherent image. This underlines the clarity and organization of the company.

KLM’s values include the responsibility to customers, employees, and society, innovation and improved service, long-term sustainability, and profitability.

KLM: Brand overview

Founded:7 October 1919
Founder:Albert Plesman
Amstelveen, Netherlands
KLM is a large Dutch company founded in 1919. It owns 110 aircraft serving 145 routes in 78 countries. Net profit exceeds 450 million euros. 2004 it merged with the French carrier to form Air France–KLM. It is part of the SkyTeam alliance.

Meaning and History

KLM Logo History

KLM is a company with vast experience. Throughout its centennial history, its visual symbols have been updated numerous times. However, the main symbols of the logo remain remarkably constant. The carrier has never changed its name, so all its emblems include the abbreviation KLM. As Royal Airlines, the company is under the patronage of the crown. Therefore, the presence of the monarchy’s symbol in the emblems is unchanging. Wings are a significant attribute in most logos, symbolizing flight – the company’s primary function.

What is KLM?

It’s the world’s oldest airline that hasn’t changed its name and has been flying for over 100 years. The headquarters and main airport are located in Amsterdam. Along with its partners, it connects 360 cities worldwide across all continents. Approximately 36,000 employees assist in flight operations.

1919 – 1921

KLM Logo 1919

The company’s first logo was filled with beauty and grace: a hexagon with the KLM monogram letters interlaced within. Above the figure is an image of a crown. On either side, two spread wings are made up of separate feathers arranged in three rows.

The letters of the inscription are decoded as Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, meaning Royal Aviation Company. The carrier was founded under the patronage of Queen Wilhelmina, who supported the idea of Dutch business people and bestowed the future enterprise with the title of Royal a month before the company’s registration.

Thanks to the queen’s benevolence, the crown of the Queen of the Netherlands topped the company’s emblem.

The wings in the symbol represent the aspiration to fly. Even though KLM started with rented planes and initially flew on demand, it gradually managed to stand on its feet and “soar into the sky.”

1921 – 1926

KLM Logo 1921

In 1921, the first regular flights took off. They marked the beginning as a real carrier by updating the logo.

Yellow elements were added to the original image, detailing the crown and golden decorations. They also added gold to the feathers and the hexagon. This moved the emblem’s color scheme closer to the royal coat of arms of the Netherlands in blue and gold tones.

The combination of gold and noble blue indicated the company’s special position. It foretold its prosperity and enrichment. The yellow hinted at the sun, in whose rays the airplanes would now fly.

1926 – 1938

KLM Logo 1926

By 1926, the company had mastered intercontinental flights. Planes flew to the Netherlands’ colony in Indonesia, the longest distance for regular transportation, a fact KLM took great pride in.

This achievement was reflected in the company’s emblem. The emblem added bright colors corresponding to the warm climate of the Dutch East Indies. The monogram letters received a bright red outline. The background of the hexagon turned purple. The blue hues of the crown and wings symbolized the ocean over which the Fokker gliders had to fly.

1938 – 1949

KLM Logo 1938

From 1938, KLM updated its fleet to Douglas DC-3 and was the first to launch commercial flights to the new Manchester – Ringway airport.

The carrier’s leadership positions transformed the logo into the orange colors of Manchester’s red-orange flag. For the first time, the wings in the emblem’s design became schematic and resembled gold plates. The symbol appears surrounded by rays of sunlight, basking in them.

1938 – 1944

KLM Logo 1938-1944

With the onset of the war, the company’s airplanes were painted orange to distinguish between military and commercial aviation. The wartime emblem was blood-red. The wings in the design transformed and resembled:

  • The hands of a strong man. The gesture demonstrated the company’s strength and readiness to face difficulties. Flights over Europe were restricted, and it was necessary to carry out detour maneuvers.
  • Two Pegasus horses. They peeked out from behind a hexagon, spreading their wings and turning their muzzles toward each other. The horses symbolized rapid delivery and bravery.

The hexagon stretched upwards as if wanting to become less noticeable so that airplanes could easily and quickly slip into the necessary airports.


KLM Logo 1949

After the end of the war, KLM had to deal with the restoration of its network, as most planes were scattered around the world or destroyed along with their crews. The process was completed by 1948. Additionally, the company began to serve Africa, the Caribbean and established flights to both Americas.

Having survived a second rebirth, KLM completely revised its visual identity, leaving royal regalia and wings only in the form of a small symbol at the top of the logo to show that the previous lifestyle of society is receding into the past. In 1948, the last colony of the Netherlands – Indonesia, gained independence, and the country lost its former greatness. The working class was more popular than the aristocracy.

The main part of the image was occupied by three large, massive black letters KLM. Below is an addition: Royal Dutch Airlines. The inscription underlined that the airline remains a leader in the country.

1950 – 1951

KLM Logo 1950

In 1950, for its representation, KLM chose the form of a round medallion. Широкая голубая тень показывала, что эмблема поднимается над поверхностью и словно парит в воздухе. Inside the circle, all the designations of the previous logo were retained.

1951 – 1956

KLM Logo 1951

The logo changed its shades from blue and red to purple. The color showed that KLM embarked on internal reorganization and developing its global mission.

1956 – 1958

KLM Logo 1956

The first and permanent director of the company died, and the Dutch government partially nationalized KLM, buying 2/3 of the shares.

The previous logo was dressed in black mourning and was placed on a square, painted in diagonal red and white stripes. The background color scheme points to the flag of the Netherlands to underline the company’s transition into national ownership.


KLM Logo 1958

The route to Tokyo via the North Pole was opened. The progress and expansion of flights were shown in the logo by adding the inscription The World Over. The color of the stripes was changed to blue and black to emphasize the cold areas through which the planes had to fly, hinting at the danger of the journey and the courage of the pilots. Each flight was supplied with warm survival kits in case of a crash. The previous icon with wings and a hexagon was reduced to a blue crown, which seemed forged from ice.

1959 – 1961

KLM Logo 1959

The emblem was slightly modified, reducing all inscriptions to the acronym KLM. The logo became clear and memorable.

1961 – 1971

KLM Logo 1961

The company suffered losses, and the leadership was changed to change the situation. As part of a series of rescue measures, the new director, Ernst van der Beugel, updated the visual identity. The logo’s background now more resembled the flag of Holland with its elongated form. The striped pattern hinted at the runways of airports. The crown became schematic, as royal patronage was more of a historical than real nature.

1971 – 1991

KLM Logo 1971

By 1971, KLM had eliminated the government’s predominance, becoming private again. The new owners immediately removed the heavy picture flag from the visual identity. Letters and a crown of dots and light lines gained freedom and airiness.

1991 – 2011

KLM Logo 1991

In 1991, Pieter Bouw came to the leadership. He changed the logo’s colors to sky-blue, allowing the symbol to soar virtually to the heavens.

2011 – today

KLM Logo

In 2011, KLM agreed with InselAir, expanding its routes, including organizing joint flights with InselAir. To make new customers immediately understand whose emblem was before them, the symbol was given back the inscription: Royal Dutch Airlines.

Font and Colors

Blue and its shades dominate in all the company’s emblems. They personify the atmosphere. The blue color of the last sign seems to say: the sky is our element. The company’s planes easily soar upward, and flights on them only bring pleasant impressions.

The strict, even letters of the inscription suit many fonts. The symbols show reliability and consistency.

KLM color codes

Spanish Sky BlueHex color:#07a9eb
RGB:7 169 235
CMYK:97 28 0 8
Pantone:PMS 2925 C