Southwest Logo

Southwest logo
The heart featured on the logo of Southwest Airlines Co. represents love and care for the customers, while the palette reminds of the beauty of the sky at any time of the day.

Meaning and history

Southwest logo history


The major American airline was founded in 1966 and incorporated the following year. The company’s original name was Air Southwest Co.
The first planes sported an emblem consisting of three diagonal stripes: orange, red, and yellow. It’s quite possible that these had been chosen as the colors of the sky at sunset. The lines were sloped to the left. In the middle, the lettering “Southwest” in black capitals could be seen. It featured a simple and highly legible sans serif type. There was also an alternative version of Southwest logo, where yellow was replaced by a nobler shade of gold and the lettering in white was placed inside the stripes.
In 1971, the airline introduced a winged heart emblem. In the middle, you could see a blue heart with a thick red outline. The heart had gold wings with four “feathers” from each side. On the background, there was a blue ring with a thick gold outline, inside of which the lettering “Southwest Airlines” in blue was placed.
While you can still come across the 1971 logo in some airports, the following modifications are more popular.

The 1998 symbol

Southwest symbol
On this version of the Southwest Airlines logo, you could see a stylized plane in flight with capital letters “Southwest” below. The letters were by far larger than on the previous version, due to which the wordmark was now better legible. The plane had a red “belly” and a blue “back,” while the wings were mostly grey.

The 2014 emblem

Southwest emblem
This year was a very important one in terms of the branding strategy. The logo and corporate style went through a complete overhaul. Gone were the plane and the black lettering in the Helvetica font. Instead, the company returned to the heart symbol and adopted a custom typeface. Both of them now looked somewhat friendlier.
The heart, which has dropped its wings, has three diagonal stripes – blue, red, and gold. The stripes are separated from each other by white or grey lines of slightly uneven width, due to which the emblem adopts a casual style.
The lettering is now lowercased, except for the initial.

Font

Southwest
Instead of the Helvetica type, the airline received a completely new font, which was developed by Monotype in collaboration with Lippincott and named Southwest Sans.

Colors

Southwest logo
The Southwest logo is dominated by a rather dark shade of blue presumably inspired by the color of the sky. You can also see the red and gold, which have been present on the company logo since its first days.