Skift Take

The new Alaska Airlines brand is a case-study in getting it right. While clearly updated with a modern lines and a new palette, the new brand carries the best of Alaska Airlines' legacy in its DNA.

Alaska Airlines has revealed a refreshing new brand image which respects its longstanding iconography, while adopting a more modern line and hue.

The rebranding is comprehensive, updating logos, corporate materials, digital presence, customer touch points and aircraft livery.

It is the first time in 25 years that the airlines tweaks its appearance and the changes–while impactful–are subtle.

“Our refreshed brand really is an evolution, not a revolution, of Alaska Airlines,” says Sangita Werner, vice president of marketing Alaska Airlines. “Our goal was to reflect the soul of our company, which is known for its genuine, caring service and top-notch performance. It’s now time to show up to our customers in a bigger, brighter way.”

“Our company has a unique personality and a vibrant spirit that our Eskimo has personified for almost half a century,” says Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden. “We believe our refreshed look reflects the warm relationships our employees have built with our customers, and makes us stand out in a compelling and consistent way as we expand into new markets, build loyalty and attract new customers.”

The new brand development was a collaborative effort of the airline with Seattle-based Hornbill Anderson. The greatest challenge of the brief was to refresh the brand’s appearance without damaging the bold character of Alaska’s word mark or leaving behind the airline’s beloved Eskimo, who has smiled at travellers from Alaska’s aircraft tails since the early 1970s.

“Our goal in modernizing our Eskimo was to optimize his facial expression so it was clear to our newer customers that he represents warmth and kindness,” says Woerner. “It was critically important that we approached his redesign with sensitivity, which is why we sought and received the input of Alaska native leaders from the Arctic region and across Alaska.”

The new brand was revealed in Seattle on the livery of a newly painted Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline also updated its customer touchpoints at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, including a new lobby and 41 rebranded gates.

Over the next month Alaska will take deliver of four Boeing 737 aircraft which will be painted with the new livery and the airline plans to have painted 40 of its aircraft. Additionally, Alaska expects to have the 111 airports Alaska serves, and its regional partners serve, rebranded by the end of the year.

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Tags: alaska airlines, branding

Photo credit: Alaska Airlines rebranded logo, livery, corporate materials, digital presence and customer touchpoints. Alaska Airlines

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