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Hawaiian Airlines is an iconic brand that has been a leader of the airline industry for years, known most for their distinctive culture of authentic Hawaiian experiences. Yet the industry is rapidly evolving, with customer expectations rising and competitors introducing new services and technologies. To maintain their market leadership position, Hawaiian Airlines turned to us to help them expand, modernize and attract the next generation of travelers.
We were engaged to help modernize Hawaiian Airlines’ iconic brand while also honoring the rich history and authentic experiences that have led its industry for years. Effectively refreshing the Hawaiian Airlines identity centered on understanding its distinctive culture and customer experience. Equally important was supporting business growth drivers such as expanding routes to Asia and introducing a highly anticipated fleet of Airbus A321s.
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.
Our project timetable required the parallel creation of the design principles, identity and design system — a requirement that depended on continuous flexibility and collaboration.
The logo effort centered on a core icon of Hawaiian Airlines’ identity: the beloved and enduring Pualani, an embodiment of warmth and joy. Known as the “flower of the sky,” the regal Pualani now sits in front of the sun, majestically stewarding guests along their journey.
The new visual identity features purple prominently and is complemented by a new type treatment. The combination appeals to an international audience and reflects Hawaiian’s reputation as a modern, premium brand. Maile, a lei reserved for important occasions, is now a feature of the livery, draped around each aircraft to symbolize a warm welcome to guests in a distinctly Hawaiian manner.
The refreshed brand launched on Lei Day (May 1) with a celebration of employee service and contributions. While this new identity is a promise to guests that Hawaiian Airlines offers the warmth, care and generosity that are hallmarks of Hawaiian culture, it is also a rallying cry for the 6,500 Hawaiian Airlines employees who fly higher and with renewed pride in their one-of-a-kind airline.