Country Base: USA
Industry/Sector/Keywords: Airlines, Airplanes, Airports, Aviation, Travel, Transportation
Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Video, Summary, Credits
Even with a very human reputation and 40+ years of profitability, Southwest isn’t immune to competitive and market pressure. Rivals have attacked price by unbundling services—then charging for extras—and raised the ante with new services and technologies. Southwest saw a chance to develop a new brand identity for a new era.
Southwest wanted the hallmarks of their culture to be expressed in ways that resonate more clearly in an increasingly jaded market. The goals were to distill years of success into a modern, impactful look for an exciting new future, unite a fragmented visual system, and help the airline connect with millennials and business travelers.
A successful design solution required aligning the company’s vision and history. From this came the insight to focus on what has always made Southwest great—its emphasis on people first. We identified the most potent symbolic asset: the heart. While always a part of the Southwest identity, we chose to use the heart to make a bigger statement—for the heart to become a truly iconic symbol.
Southwest claimed the humble but bold heart as its brand symbol, crystalizing a business philosophy 40+ years in the making and showing the world that what started Southwest is exactly what will lead them into future—treating people like people.
The heart is the identity’s emotional punctuation. It signifies what makes the brand unique: a personal touch. Surrounding it is a redesign of Southwest’s livery, airports, and website. From planes to peanut packaging, the refresh is modern but true to Southwest’s DNA—confident, authentic, and full of personality.
The company is also the financial world’s top pick; named airline of the year and top investment pick of 2014. Southwest was built on the idea that people come first. More than ever, travelers know they’re flying with people who care—no matter where they sit.
Client: Southwest Airlines – www.southwestairlines.com
Brand Strategists/Designers: Lippincott – www.lippincott.com
Creative Director: Rodney Abbot, Senior Partner
Design: Sam Ayling, Senior Associate
Associate: Jung Kwon
Strategy: Steve Lawrence, Senior Partner
Partner: Hilary Folger
Associate: Amaka Nneji
Associate: Jake Hancock
Consultant: Adela Jaffe
Production: Jeremy Darty, Department Director, Production
Senior Production Manager: Brendan deVallance
Lippincott – www.lippincott.com/en/
Stephen Keller, Southwest Airlines
Esto Photographics – www.esto.com
David Arky Photography – www.arky.com
Travis Rathbone Studio – www.travisrathbone.com
GSD&M – www.gsdm.com
Razorfish – www.razorfish.com