Established in 1929, Hawaiian Airlines is the main airline flying to, from, and within Hawaii with 250 daily flights nationally, internationally, and locally. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airline has had the best on-time performance of all U.S. carriers for the past 13 years. This month — on Lei Day, no less — Hawaiian Airlines introduced a new logo and livery designed by New York, NY-based Lippincott.
Working closely with cultural experts and a committee of Hawaiian’s front-line employees, Lippincott set out to create a modern identity that preserved the integrity of the brand and stayed true to cherished traditions. Our approach depended on the guidance and buy-in of a particular constituency: long-standing employees who were heavily invested in the Hawaiian Airlines brand. After all, Hawaiian Airlines’ people are the cultural ambassadors who make the company unique; their connection with guests differentiate the airline in a highly competitive market.
An early interjection just to commend that bitchin’ wordmark from 1973 to 1995.
We are unveiling a refreshed logo, livery and overall creative look that honors Pualani and the Hawaiian hospitality she represents. We aimed to retain the essence of our brand and move forward with a bolder, truer expression of our unique identity.
Pualani, with her welcoming smile and proud gaze, embodies our culture even more clearly. Known as the “flower of the sky,” Pualani is now framed by the rising sun, watching over our guests and crew along their journey. To celebrate her regal status, we are featuring purple more prominently in our color palette, complemented by an updated graphical style that reflects our reputation as a premium, global brand.
The airline has had the Pualani icon for 44 years which makes any evolution both easy and hard. Easy in that the discussion on whether it stays or goes is a non-starter, it just stays. Hard in that, what else do you do to it, if anything? I think they had nailed it back in 1990 with a minimal, abstract, almost Marimekko-ish version. The change in 2001 to integrate the profile of Pualani with the hibiscus flower is commendable in that it was a clever way to create a single unit of flower and woman. It was also nicely done, although adding facial features took away the charming abstraction it previously had.
The new icon does away with the background flower, which is the biggest and most drastic change. In its place is a rising sun, which is a fine metaphor but takes away the visual play between the two previous elements. The new composition is not bad at all but, by contrast, it did lose an element of interpretation from the viewer. The refinements to the facial features are all positive and highly improve on the drawing — nitpicking, though, the ends of her hair are very sharp in contrast to the rest of the line style. One thing I really like about the new logo is how the hibiscus flower stands out in bright red.
The wordmark is a big improvement. The old coupling of “HAWAIIAN” and whatever the hell was that “AIRLINES” was awful, while the new pair works so much better together. The inner wisps of the new “A”s have a nice relationship with the hair in the icon and the overall weight and rhythm of “HAWAIIAN” is very well balanced.
In our livery, or exterior aircraft paint, you will see a bold, contemporary rendition of our rich cultural tradition. Pualani looks out over the aircraft from an even more prominent position on the tail. A maile lei—one we use for important occasions—wraps around the body of the aircraft to symbolize the warm welcome we extend to our guests, and the ways that our traditions bind us together as an ‘ohana (family).
Both old and new liveries are fine… nothing to get too excited or riled up about. The new Pualani looks good on the tail and the additional flowers provide a good segue between the full-color tail and the white fuselage. The watermark lei looks alright.
Not much in terms of application and the few samples available are kind of dull and disparate with the introduction of a more classic serif that feels out of place. The gradient flowers feel old. While these are clearly renders and not final product, they feel a little rushed, specially in comparison with the logo that feels like it was very carefully considered. Overall, this isn’t so much an improvement or dis-provement — I know that’s not a word — as it is an alternate, parallel variation of what exists now… with much better typography in the logo, no doubt.