Southwest Airlines

Heart sets us apart

Introducing a vibrant look inspired
by our love of People.

Bigger, bolder, still
in the right place

A look into the evolution of a Heart
43 years in the making.

Ready for
takeoff

Our planes’ Hearts make
them more than machines.

#SouthwestHeart

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A new look, the same Heart

Forty-three years ago, Southwest launched a low-fare revolution that is still alive and well today. Ignited by a Maverick Spirit and a passion for serving others, we set out to do things differently than the other guys. Today, the world is a much different place than it was back in 1971. Our industry landscape is hardly recognizable, and our Customers’ travel habits have evolved. Southwest has evolved too — but we have never stopped smiling.

We’ve been hard at work over the past decade transforming Southwest to be just as relevant and successful for the next four decades. We enhanced our cabin interiors, installing WiFi and offering free live TV onboard (thanks to DISH®!). With the Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, we’re bringing on larger airplanes that are better suited for longer flights. We expanded in big markets like New York City and Washington, D.C. and revamped our Rapid Rewards® Frequent Flyer program. We acquired AirTran Airways, and we’re in the final stages of integrating our two airlines to become one by the end of this year. The AirTran integration set the stage for Southwest to launch international service for the first time in our history, which we did in July. And next month, a federal law (the Wright Amendment) restricting where we can fly domestically from our home airport of Dallas Love Field will be lifted — giving us the freedom to serve more nonstop markets from our hometown.

With all these exciting changes happening, we thought it was time for a new visual expression of our brand — one that marries our past to our present and sets the course for where we’re headed in the future. So this month, we’re introducing a modern, new look. You’ll see it throughout your experience with us. Our new logo showcases a Heart — fitting for a Company whose very core has always been fueled by the heartbeat of its People. Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People. This Heart symbolizes our commitment to you that we’ll remain true to our core as we set our sights on the future.

What started as a revolution has undergone an evolution. But we haven’t changed what we stand for: low fares, a convenient flight schedule, and the friendliest Employees in the world. Our Purpose is to connect you, our valued Customer, to the moments that are most important in your life, through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. That was true in 1971, and it’s just as true today. So, while our look may be new, our DNA is the same — with the big Heart and big smile you have come to LUV. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Straight from the Heart

Our look has changed. But one thing’s been the same since the beginning.

Something very important started brewing at Southwest Airlines headquarters last summer. The airline’s merger with AirTran Airways was midway through completion, international service was on the horizon, and the end was near for the Wright Amendment, which sets restrictions on direct flights from Dallas Love Field, Southwest’s home airport.

“With so much of Southwest’s focus firmly set on the future, it was a natural time to look at our visual identity,” says Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. The task given to Lippincott, a brand strategy and design consultancy, was monumental: distill more than 40 years into one modern, impactful look that represents the exciting future of a one-of-a-kind airline.

“The job wasn’t to change who we are,” says Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We already know who we are. The job was to keep the elements of Southwest that our Employees and Customers love and to bring them to the forefront, modernizing them for our future growth.”

“A lot of it was simplifying: getting back to what is true to our core,” Krone says. “We had to pare down until we got to something that was simple, clear, and fresh, yet still reflected our personality.”

Behind the Scenes

The mission of Southwest’s new look: to represent the Company’s innovative future while showing that its essential character hasn’t changed. At the center of the look is a vibrant Heart.

At Check-In

“When you get to the airport and see all the colors, you see a vibrant, welcoming world, and that’s what we were very purposeful in creating.” — Helen Limpitlaw

For 15 months, more than 100 people spent countless hours on the project, designing, holding focus groups with Customers and Employees, and analyzing data. Little by little, a new look emerged, centered around something that has defined the Company since day one: Heart.

“We explored numerous options and always came back to the vibrant, iconic Heart as the only symbol that sums up our unique brand,” says Vanessa Peace, Manager of Brand Identity at Southwest. “Southwest Employees are humble, and they carry that humility in everything they do,” explains Rodney Abbott, senior partner of design at Lippincott. “We were careful to retain the humbleness of the Heart in the logo, yet go bold with it on the aircraft belly.”

Behind the Scenes

The mission of Southwest’s new look: to represent the Company’s innovative future while showing that its essential character hasn’t changed. At the center of the look is a vibrant Heart.

“The Heart is who we are,” Southwest’s Director of Brand Communications, Helen Limpitlaw, explains. “It encapsulates what we offer as a Company. It’s symbolic of our care, our trust, and our belief in providing exceptional hospitality. The Heart itself and the use of it just feels so right for the DNA of our brand.” Settling on a logo was just the beginning.

Customers will soon begin noticing an entirely new visual experience, all the way down to the packaging of Southwest’s famous complimentary snacks. Southwest’s iconic colors have even evolved, and the airline commissioned a custom typeface. Eventually, everything will be given a voice and a look that reflects the refreshed brand, from the planes themselves to the website, billboards, TV commercials, and more.

At Check-In

“When you get to the airport and see all the colors, you see a vibrant, welcoming world, and that’s what we were very purposeful in creating.” — Helen Limpitlaw

Through it all, the Heart persists. “It’s a symbol that conveys the core of who we are and how much we care,” Limpitlaw says. “And it’s been instilled within the organization from the very beginning. We’re presenting a vibrant and modern look, but we’re still uniquely us. And that means our top priority is to serve you.”