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Southwest Stays True to Its "Rep"

Explorer C

Southwest Airlines is often regarded as one of the best companies to work for in America. In 2007, we received over 300,000 applications, and hired less than 5,000 of the best. This competitive hiring process is only one of the reasons I feel so lucky to have been hired on with the Graphic Design & Creative Services Department in late 2008.

I’ve always been a fan of Southwest, and I am intrigued by the story of the Company’s origin and early struggles. I’d heard rumors of a crazy former CEO, happy Employees, and great parties. At orientation, I learned about the Servant’s Heart, Warrior Spirit, and Fun-LUVing attitude that all of us are supposed to embrace. Being the skeptic that I am, I thought to myself that there is no way a Company this large could expect all of its Employees to live up to these values.

I was wrong.

Every day I am amazed at the kind hearts of my Coworkers and the countless ways that are found to keep our jobs fun--from office Olympics and picnics on the floor, to Team parties and outings (and I haven’t had a chance to attend a Spirit Party yet). I’m sure that when my Team reads this they will say to one another, “Boy, is she ever drinking the Kool-Aid,” but let them talk. From someone who never thought she’d enjoy working for a living: I LOVE my job!

Before working here, I knew Southwest for its humorous ads and great Customer Service. Every time Southwest flies to a new city, fare wars are waged as the competition is forced to lower prices to remain in the picture. I’ve been told this is known as the “Southwest Effect” and am excited for the chance to experience it for myself when service begins to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) next month.

Southwest’s Graphic Design & Creative Services Department never passes up an opportunity for a good-spirited competition, so when the Public Relations. Team enlisted the help of GD&CS to create some collateral to celebrate the opening of MSP, we not only agreed to help, but decided to make it into a contest. The “When LUV Comes to Town” Design-Off was born!

The chosen design will be placed on T-shirts, posters, and other collateral that will be given away at the city's opening. Each designer was eager to have their chance at creating the winning artwork. (What Designer doesn’t want to see their stuff displayed on a T-shirt?) As added incentive, a seat on the inaugural flight into MSP will be guaranteed for the winning Designer, and from what I hear, inaugural flights are not something to miss.

Armed only with the slogan, “When LUV Comes To Town”, each of us had a few days to mock up a design. At the first critique, I realized the competition was stiff. I work with some very talented people! The best part is that even if I don’t end up winning this Design-Off, I know there will be plenty of fun-filled opportunities in the future, as long as Southwest continues to promote its values and stay true to its Fun-LUVing reputation!

Take a look at some of our solutions below, and see if you can guess the winner! (Which design would you chose?)



Frequent Flyer C
I like the third one, but they are all awesome!
Explorer C
They are all pretty fun but I think the first one really leads with the love! As a Twin Cities resident, I can't wait til you're here!
Explorer C
the first one would probably work best for print and tshirts. the third one is good too but feels more soft and fluffy and i prefer more edgy stuff. good designs guys.
Explorer C
The third one, of course! Now, where is *my* t-shirt?
Explorer C
The first one definitely.
Explorer C
Explorer C
I really like the 1st, 3rd and last ones. They're all great and convey the LUV Southwest has...really fun!
Explorer C
I like the first one best. Yay MSP!
Explorer C
I think the first one is great and it says Southwest so easily with the big ol heart encompassing the city! Great work all!!
Explorer C
I like the second one-
Explorer C
Welcome to the Team Jen!
Adventurer B
Gosh. They're all really good! I especially like the first, third and sixth designs.
Explorer C
First one, or the last two... All three are relatively clean, yet invite the viewer in. They use iconic WN imagery, but still focus on city/state imagery as well.
Explorer C
I love the third one! But, they really all are great! Great job - great article to display the spirit of southwest. I am a newbie too and I think the power of the Southwest people really is a head turner coming from different companies and industries.
Explorer C
First one is cool, but I personally would change the "I'm gonna jump that plane" to what the third one says "I'm gonna jump on that plane" The first sounds like either you are going to mug it, or hump its leg. Also the first and last ones look like they were lifted from the Cnet website, so you may loose a few brownie points for that. The second one looks more as though the plane is raining fecal matter on the city......I polled the office I work in and they all said the same, so it is not just me. Fourth one is kind of bland, but still good, and the fifth one is my second favorite. But I have to say that even though the third one is really busy I like it. I like the whole Mashable look to it.
Explorer C
I agree, they are all good in their own way. My favorites are the first and the last designs...since they have the big heart prominently featured 🙂
Explorer C
i don't like the "jump the plane" tagline in your industry.
Frequent Flyer A
They're all works of art...I'm kind of digging the outline of Minnesota (#5). Texas tends to steal the spotlight on state outlines, so I'm happy to see MSP taking a stand--even if it was totally unrecognizable to me at first...(And yes, I already know the winner!)
Explorer B
These 4 were close -- Number 1 is the most eye grabbing, though, like others, I prefer the slogan "I'm going to jump on that plane" from number 3. I can easily see this one rolled out system wide touting the new service to MSP. Number 6 is pretty eye grabbing too, but the giant "JUMP THAT PLANE" doesn't work for me. Again, I like the "JUMP ON THAT PLANE" from number 3. Number 3 has a great concert poster feel to it, but all the words in blue just kinda get jumbled up and make it too busy. Number 5 would make a terrific pin. The problem with it is that the "When" and "Comes To" gets lost in the state, such that at first glance, it reads "LUV Town" (but maybe that was intentional). If you actually were thinking of making this into a pin, I'd axe the slogan, and move the heart's position on the state to MSP's location. These 2 just didn't do it for me. When I first saw number 2, the first thought I had was that the trailer was dumping a load. Actually, I don't care for the trailer at all; I have enough time convincing folks that Southwest does not cater strictly to trailer trash, and this doesn't help. Number 4 is just too generic.
Explorer C
Great designs, all. I like the first one a lot (catches the eye and states it point immediately), but I think my overall favorite is the third. It not only stylishly highlights the twin city skyline, but also includes reasons why folks should choose SWA. The graphics would look great on a t-shirt. My seatback and tray are in the upright position, and I'm ready to go!
Explorer C
My guess is the first creative won. The one thing I don't think works in #1 is the "I'm gonna jump that plane" tag line.
Explorer C
Is the celebration on the 8th or the 9th?
Explorer C
First and third... for sure.
Explorer A
Hi.... I ABSOLUTELEY LUV all of these ads...But, since I speak with our LUVLY Passengers on a daily basis, I would pick number 1, but....only if it says, "Jump ON that plane! Please add ON to the phrase. We will get one too many questions and negative remarks with just ,"Jump That Plane". I really think the ad would work GREAT if we add that please. Thank U!!!!
Explorer C
The first one is my favorite, but like most I agree that the word "on" needs to be added to the phrase. I also really like the third one.
Explorer C
Explorer C
We want to thank Southwest Airlines for offering affordable airfares and most friendlest crew. Because of your affordable prices my husband and I are able to visit our family from Florida to Mass by flying instead of driving. We have flown with many different airlines over the years and non compare to you. We rate you with a 10 for excellent service. When anyone talks about needing a flight, I tell them, Thanks Southwest. PS: We are excited about you flying into Boston. We hope your price are as comparable to flights into Manchester. Sincerly, david & muriel
Explorer A
I like the third one the best. I think it would look nice screened on a t-shirt.
Explorer C
I like the 2nd and 3rd the most. I get the "Jump that Plane" slogan but agree that it needs to be changed to "jump on that plane.
Explorer C
My vote is for the third one, but I thought the heart might have an plane silhouette inside. It was the only one without a plane and it feels like it could easily be incorporated without compromising the design. There are so many good ones to chose from, I don't envy the person making the final decision! And I too LUV Southwest.
Explorer B
I like the buildings in No. 2, but No. 5 wins. The outline of the state says it all, and the plane is well placed. As Peter, Paul and Mary said, "you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train". Do to the lack of heat and oxygen in the wheel wells, "jump that plane" is ill advised.
Explorer C
The first one! i do have to say they are all great designs though. The third one woulld be great as a huge poster though. Great job Trent, John, Quin, Jen, and Sonia!
Explorer C


Just a small suggestion (and if you win, send me the t-shirt), since luv is the core of the subject, myself coming from the hippie should design a hippie type of tee. What came to mind, like tye dye, peace symbol, head bandanas, flowers, etc. Create one of our planes in tye dye with words and symbols like I mentioned above. Now, I don't know about you, but think it's a COOL, GROOVE, idea. Hope this helps and good luck in the win. Carol Preston former SRC emplyee ps And I truly miss my days spent at the greatest airline in the industry. Keep up the good work, Jen the newbie, and believe me, you will NEVER lose that first LUV!!!
Explorer C
The work force at SWA is great. The pilots are extremly well trained, and the workers are very nice. When you fly with them, they bend over backwards to help you out. They make sure you are on time, comfortable, and ready to go with your flight. SWA is the greatest airline in the country.
Explorer B
#3 is my favorite....I like how it showcases all of the great things that SWA will be introducing to Customers at MSP.... 🙂
Explorer C
I like #3 the best, followed by #1 and the last one. However, the big red heart is too close to the I (heart) NY logo. Maybe change the skyline and modify it for the LGA launch? 😉
Explorer C
More on #3 - and piggyback on Rachael's comment: how about replacing the word PLANE with the picture of the plane from the SWA logo (a la #1)?