The original purpose of this note was to announce a couple post-WWI era U.S. Air Force recruitment posters that I ran across in Saturday Evening Post magazines of the day (see below), but I got side-tracked. There is a plethora of old posters available for viewing on the Internet, but I haven't seen these two, which are particularly directed toward flight officers. Except maybe for a C-130, you probably won't see any propeller-driven aircraft in today's USAF material. In fact, it was while I was looking for contemporary recruitment posters to test that hunch that I ran across an entire section of regulations governing the proper - and only official - method of construction the USAF's new (relatively) wings symbol.

The official U.S. Air Force "signature" consists of the Symbol and the Logotype. Similar directions are available for how to display the design, fonts and colors, symbol meaning and history, and every other aspect of using it. This is part of why the Federal workforce (not even including the military itself) is the largest in the nation. You pay them (mostly involuntarily) to tell you what to do. Here is an excerpt from the "Calculating Proportions" page:

Calculating Proportions

Use the following methods to determine the correct proportions for the Symbol, the logotype, and the required stand-off space.

For the Symbol (only)
The ratio of the width of the Symbol to the height should be 112% (i.e., width = 112, height = 100). If you know the width, multiply it by 100, then divide by 112 to get the height. If you know the height, multiply it by 112, then divide by 100 to get the width.

For the logotype (only)
The ratio of the width of the logotype to the height should be 1264% (i.e., width = 1264, height = 100). If you know the width, multiply it by 100, then divide by 1264 to get the height. If you know the height, multiply it by 1264, then divide it by 100 to get the width.

For the Symbol to the logotype
The ratio of the width of the logotype to the width of the Symbol, at its widest point, is 148% (i.e., logotype width = 148, symbol width = 100). If you know the width of the Symbol, multiply it by 148, then divide by 100 to get the width of the logotype. If you know the width of the logotype, multiply it by 100, then divide by 148 to get the width of the symbol.

For the space between the Symbol and the logotype
The ratio of the space between the Symbol and logotype to the width of the Symbol is 17% (i.e., space = 17, symbol width = 100). If you know the width of the Symbol, multiply it by 17, then divide by 100 to get the space between the Symbol and logotype.
The ratio of the space between the Symbol and logotype to the width of the logotype is 11% (i.e., space = 11, logotype width = 100). If you know the width of the logotype, multiply it by 11, then divide by 100 to get the space between the Symbol and logotype.

For the space between the Symbol or the signature and additional elements
The stand-off (or "negative") space around the Symbol or the Symbol/logotype combo (signature) is a minimum of 15% (i.e., stand-off space = 15, Symbol width = 100). Measure the width of the Symbol at its widest point, multiply it by 15, then divide by 100 to get the minimum required empty space around the Symbol or the signature. For an example, see www.trademark.af.mil/symbol/displaying/index.asp. NOTE: The stand-off space will take the shape of a square, not the outline of the Symbol."

I never did find examples of a new recruitment poster.

U.S. Air Force Recruitment Advertisement from the July 16, 1949 Saturday Evening Post

U.S. Air Force Recruitment Advertisement from the November 6, 1948 Saturday Evening Post

Posted  September 17, 2013

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