On the new Frontier Airlines logo

You must know by now that Frontier Airlines unveiled a new logo and look on Tuesday. 

It's a bit of a mishmash, with the designers taking a 35-year-old logo created by Saul Bass and updating it for the modern era. I wrote about the new look for the travel website, Skift. 

For the piece, I spoke with designer Peter Shikany of PS: Studios in Phoenix. He told me that retro is cool, even for airlines. "I think there's this thing right now that I would call a focus on a modern nostalgic interpretation," he said. "It's a retro that people respond to."

But not everyone agrees it is the right move. I received an email from travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt, part of which made it into the Skift piece. But he had plenty more to say on Frontier's attempt on rebranding. He compared it to Southwest's recent changes. 

Frontier’s and Southwest’s approaches to their new brand identities couldn’t be more different. Southwest clearly wanted to evolve forward. Although they kept, and built on, their heart icon, they approached their work in a thoughtful, deliberate, and strategic manner. Knowing what they want the airline to be, Southwest adopted a look that will help carry the airline ahead. Southwest’s new identity was not unveiled without some drama. It’s been compared to Wonder Bread and Hot Dog on a Stick, among other things.

Frontier, however, is clearly lost, and lacks any vision of what it wants to be. The new look was forced on the airline by its new owner, Mr. Franke, who routinely forces the airlines he owns to embrace new liveries and branding, even if none is required. Thankfully, Frontier kept its animal-themed tails, which have become beloved icons for the airline. Unfortunately, Frontier’s new look is a stripes-and-plaid mishmash of Frontier’s past - and that’s risky.

What do you think?