Chicago-based United Airlines is updating the colors in its brand as new product changes come down the line at the carrier. In addition to the trademark Rhapsody Blue that United now employs across its website, employees and airplanes, new colors branded as United Blue, Pacific Blue, Premium Purple, Runway Gray, Sky Blue and Atlantic Amethyst are being added to the airline’s portfolio.
Among the new colors, Premium Purple and Atlantic Amethyst are the two obvious standouts; each purple is a significant departure away from the typical blues that one might see on an everyday United flight.
According to documentation shared among employees last week, the airline is updating its brand design to create because “a visual identity that reflects our new spirit as a thoughtful, modern and innovative airline will make us more memorable to our consumers.”
A big part of the motivation also comes from new employee uniforms that are soon coming to the carrier. “Throughout our uniform road shows and focus groups,” the message tells employees, “we heard loud and clear the importance of being United. Taking your feedback to heart, there is a unifying base color in the [new] uniform across all work groups that speaks to the core of the United brand – Rhapsody Blue. You’ve also told us you want pops of color to accentuate the design, which take inspiration from our extended color palette.”
Similar statements from United spokespeople were shared among the media last week.
Beyond employee uniforms though, it’s obvious that United will be using the new colors across the entire United experience. Early this year, news leaked that United was rolling out an international premium economy cabin on some of its widebody aircraft; the renderings that came along with that leak (above), showed a cabin with curiously purple headrests. According to United’s internal memos last week, it plans to employ the new brand language at its “elevated airport experiences” (ostensibly its premium Polaris lounges), “ground and onboard products” (its airplane cabins) and its “customer and employee-facing channels” (its websites). And with a new website unfurling this summer, some of those colors may digitally show up soon.
As for the rest of the airline, it may be some time until the new colors start to make a more dramatic experience. According to USA Today, United’s new uniforms are targeted for release in 2020 while the airline’s international premium economy cabins, while already partially deployed, are only installed on a fraction of the carrier’s fleet. As a result, it may be a few years until many customers experience the full impact of Pacific Blue and Atlantic Amethyst when flying on United Airlines.
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