Alaska Airlines (ASA), part of the Alaska Air Group Inc. holding, serves about a hundred cities. Its route network covers four countries: Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, and the USA. The headquarters are located in the suburbs of Seattle and one of the central hubs in Seattle – Tacoma International Airport.
Meaning and History
What is Alaska Airlines?
It is an airline that operates on US mainline airlines. It appeared in 1932 and became the largest air carrier on the Pacific coast. Its route network covers about a hundred cities in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
We can say that ASA originated in 1932, during the Great Depression. It was then that Indiana native Linious McGee began piloting a small, three-seater aircraft with “McGee Airways” written on the side. In the same year, three Seattle pilots borrowed money to found Star Air Service. The adventure grew into something more when the two companies merged. As a result of several more mergers, the business expanded. Alaska Airlines, Inc. (this name was adopted on May 2, 1944), many routes and modern air transport appeared.
In subsequent years, the airline expanded significantly and became the most influential charter operator globally. But her financial situation remained very precarious. The situation was saved by the new leader – Charlie Willis. As a born marketer, he focused on developing the ASA brand to focus on logo and liveries.
1966 – 1972
In the mid-1960s, the logo used was the name Alaska Airlines, written in oblique capital letters. The typeface’s characteristic feature was the rounded shape and the absence of top corners on the “A.” The white inscription was on a red rectangle in the main version, but everything looked a little different in reality: the red word “ALASKA” stood out as a bright spot on the aircraft’s whiteboard.
The new design became part of an advertising project that made the airline famous throughout the world. As part of the marketing campaign, the aircraft’s interior was covered with red-orange velvet wallpaper, and all ASA employees wore Cossack suits. The passengers were offered dishes of Russian cuisine, and caviar was carried out on trays made of silver, and vodka and tea were served in gold samovars.
1972 – 1990
In 1972, Charlie Willis was replaced by Ron Cosgrave. He launched another ad campaign to solve the financial problems of attracting new customers. This is how another logo appeared with the inscription “ALASKA AIRLINES,” divided into two lines. In this version, a straight sans serif font was used for the phrase. Only the first “A” was capitalized. The background turned blue, and the title remained white.
The main fuselage color matched the emblem’s design: the air transport hull was white with turquoise and blue stripes. Also, the artists decorated the tail section of the aircraft with unusual liveries. The first is a totem pole, characteristic of the culture of Alaska. The second is the face of an Eskimo dressed in the national kulittak. The third is a gold miner. And the fourth – the domes of Russian churches, reminiscent of 49 US states’ historical heritage.
1990 – 2014
In 1990, another redesign took place, which changed the perception of the ASA brand. The phrase “ALASKA AIRLINES” was no longer divided into two lines and was on a blank white background without a rectangle. The authors of the logo chose an oblique serif font for the inscription. The blue icicle letters looked like handwritten letters, although it was just a nice stylization.
2014 – 2016
To attract new customers, management ordered a change in the logo. Now the word “ALASKA” was the main one: the designers enlarged it and placed it in the middle. The second half of the title was at the bottom and consisted of small block letters sans serif.
2016 – present
Focus group pilots called the old design “cool” and “corporate,” which was one reason for the font update. The airline, led by CEO Brad Tilden, has entrusted this work to the Hornall Anderson branding firm. The improved logo was first introduced onboard the newly painted Boeing 737-800. Also, it has appeared on Alaska Airlines signage, website, and promotional material.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The wordmark changes as the company grow so that customers can see its evolution and the desire for progressive solutions. So far, this strategy has been continued by all the executives who, one by one, have proposed a new vision for ASA. The current brand logo seems more friendly than the previous one: it has no sharp lines and sharp corners.
Twelve months of continuous operation of Hornall Anderson led to a global change in Alaska Airlines’ identity. The italic font and clear lines of the word “ALASKA” symbolize precision and diligence. Simultaneously, the capital “A” with its characteristic horizontal stroke reminds of the text sign’s past versions.
The word “AIRLINES” looks the same as in 2014-2016, only the letters have become larger and have shifted slightly. Both parts of the lettering are un-serifed and colored blue. The selected shade Dark Midnight Blue (# 00385F), is associated with the snowy Pacific Northwest region, where many of the airline’s destinations are located.