The new branding has been developed by Lipincott, working with Texas ad agency GSD&M, digital consultancies VML and Razorfish, and Camelot Communications.
The new ‘heart’ identity replaces the previous logo, which featured a Southwest Airlines plane. The airline says it wanted to keep its ‘unique’ colour palette, ‘that breaks up the airline industry’s “white” sea of sameness’.
It has updated these colours to be ‘bolder’ – using a new palette featuring ‘bold blue’, ‘warm red’, sunrise yellow’ and ‘summit silver’.
In the new livery design, the ‘heart’ motif is displayed on the belly of the plane.
The airline says it is also introducing ‘personality lines’ to items including ground services equipment, bag-tags and food packaging to improve customer experience.
The interior of the plans will change, to incorporate the new branding, and Southwest Airlines says it is researching potential updates to its seats.
The rebranding is also rolling out to airports, with Southwest Airlines introducing new ticket counters, kiosks, information displays and wayfinding. The new ground look is rolling out in Dallas Airport this month before being applied to other airports.
The airline is introducing a new colour scheme to wayfinding, with, for example, red indicating self-service and yellow showing full-service.
The Southwest Airlines website is being overhauled as part of the rebranding, and the airline’s magazine is also being redesigned.
The airline says, ‘The goal with our new look was to achieve a unified and consistent look across all elements of our Customer experience. As the new look unfolds, changes beyond just the aircraft will help to reveal an exciting brand experience. Every detail from airport signage to business cards will help to celebrate this exciting chapter in our history.
Southwest Airlines says initial discussions on the rebrand began in spring 2013, before the project started in earnest at the beginning of the year.
The rebrand is, according to the airline, rolling out in a ‘cost-neutral’ fashion, by phasing it over time. For example aircraft will be repainted within the existing repainting schedule and airport conversions are being integrated into upcoming airport improvement projects.