Frontier Airlines is the link between cities in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Canada. It is based in Denver and flies to over 100 destinations, serving about 90% of the United States population. Its fleet is constantly replenished with new air transport, and for the entire time, Frontier Airlines’ aircraft have never appeared in a fatal situation. In terms of pricing, this organization is considered low-cost and, to some extent, imitates Spirit Airlines, offering customers affordable fares.
Meaning and History
There were two periods in the air transport enterprise history: the first began in 1950 and ended in 1986, and the second lasted from 1994 to the present. The original Frontier carried about 87 million passengers before it filed for bankruptcy and merged with Continental Airlines. The last aircraft with the iconic Frontier Airlines logo on board took off in 1986.
In the early 1990s, several former Frontier employees co-founded AeroDenver Travel Services with an ex-United Airlines pilot. Almost immediately, the Denver company was renamed Frontier Airlines. In addition to the name and base of the bankrupt enterprise, she inherited its symbols. This happened in 2014 when designers gave a second life to the classic Saul Bass emblem.
Old and new Frontier are two different airlines with the same name. Although the existing organization leaders have tried to connect them at the branding level, they do not have a common history. The current logo of the airline is a tribute to the classic style. It is combined with the aircraft tail section’s modern design, which has depicted wild animals since 1994.
1958 – 1972
In 1958, Lewis Bergman Maytag, Jr. became the majority shareholder of Frontier Airlines. After that, the company introduced an emblem with a blue arrow pointing to the right and a golden wing similar to a crescent or boomerang. At the bottom was the cursive “FRONTIER AIRLINES” in blue capital letters. The new symbol adorned the side of the Convair CV-340 aircraft in 1959. By the way, the very first logo with a winged arrow appeared in 1950, but it was red-green and had a different design.
1978 – 1986
Graphic designer Saul Bass created the original badge known as the Frontier F. It consisted of four geometric shapes: a red circle (base) and three white parallelograms with rounded corners (stylized letter “F”). They were complemented by the black inscription “FRONTIER” located below. This symbol was introduced on April 30, 1978, and remained in use until 1986, when the company went out of business.
1994 – 2001
The modern brand Frontier Airlines was registered in 1994, when its debut logo, designed by Dan Cotton, appeared. The designer has placed the white and gray name of the airline inside a dark blue rectangle. For the first word, he used a semi-connected handwritten font, and for the second, a standard sans serif.
2001 – 2014
In the 2000s, the lettering has been moved to a blank white background. The top line (“FRONTIER”) is dark green, and the bottom line (“AIRLINES”) is black. A bold sans-serif typeface has replaced the cursive typeface.
2014 – present
At the end of 2013, the airline was acquired by the Indigo Partners LLC group led by Bill Franke. The new owners decided to change their business strategy, so they simplified the tariff structure and ordered from PS: Studios, Inc., a new livery for Frontier aircraft. The designers have given a second life to the Saul Bass emblem to highlight the brand’s history. They included it in the inscription, using it instead of the first letter.
The stylized “F” is combined with cursive characters for a dark turquoise color. The second line contains the gray word “AIRLINES.” It is right-justified and, thanks to the narrow letter spacing, does not take up as much space as it used to.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The airline’s current symbol is a tribute to its past, even though the new brand is only formally associated with the old Frontier Airlines. Visual identity is based on the geometric F-shaped badge invented by Saul Bass in 1978.
The logo was presented in September 2014 at the presentation of the Airbus A320-214 N227FR aircraft. It turned out that the designers returned the iconic Frontier F and the arrow pointing forward. This is a reference to the original emblem, which first appeared aboard the Douglas DC-3 in 1950. The retrospective approach integrates past and future, although a stylized “F” in the word mark impairs legibility.
The icon of three curved shapes is combined with the grotesque, geometric Gotham. This font family was designed by American typographer Tobias Frere-Jones in collaboration with Jesse Ragan. The inspiration comes from the signs on old buildings in New York. The Frontier Airlines logo features a bold version of Gotham, with the first word in italics. A slight tilt to the right symbolizes forward movement.
The American airline switched to green in 1994. Designers from PS: Studios, Inc. decided to keep this palette but chose a new shade (# 318468), close to dark turquoise. And they made the word “AIRLINES” light gray (# 9E9A97).