Southwest Airline’s New Livery Scheme

By: Category: PHXSpecial paintSpotting



Canyon Blue (introduced on January 16, 2001) is synonymous with Southwest Airlines. Canyon Blue was the second iteration of the Southwest livery behind the original Desert Gold color scheme. It took nine years to have the whole fleet painted in the Canyon Blue scheme. While a striking change from the original Desert Gold coloration of the Southwest fleet, many noticed that the color would fade rather quickly. Making their planes look old and disheveled. Southwest also felt that the old color scheme was becoming dated and did not reflect their core values.

In 2014 Southwest rebranded itself with its new Heart paint scheme. It was developed by firms GSD&M, Lippincott, VML, Razorfish, and Camelot Communications.1 They conducted focus groups of employees and consumers about the design of the new livery. The groups stated that the new design had to be “unique and to retain its personality”.1

The heart scheme features a font that was developed just for Southwest Airlines named Southwest Sans. The color scheme features a deep and darker blue with yellow and red stripes on the tail that are broken with a thin white stripe. Southwest on the tail has been moved to the front fuselage. The Southwest on the winglets has been removed and there is an addition of on both sides of the engine nacelles. They have also placed a heart located on the underside of the fuselage.


The rollout of the new Heart paint scheme occurred on September 9, 2014.[1] “The new look puts the airline’s Heart on display, showcasing the strength of the nearly 46,000 Employees Companywide—whose dedication can be felt by every Customer each time Southwest Airlines connects them to what’s important in their life.”1 The new livery makes a bold statement with its bright and vibrant colorations. Southwest wanted to position itself as a more forward looking airlines that is ready to embrace the future with its bold and futuristic livery and color scheme.


Southwest has stated that they will continue to have their specialty aircraft such as the state and classic planes.[2]






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