JetBlue today is officially introducing its newest special livery aircraft, “What’s Old Is Blue Again.” The JetBlue RetroJet boasts a one-of-a-kind paint scheme designed to celebrate the iconic jet age of air travel and to highlight JetBlue’s innovative style. To create the look, JetBlue dug into an archive of popular logos and notable companies from the mid-1960s to essentially reverse-engineer the JetBlue brand and envision what the customer-friendly carrier of today might have looked like some five decades ago.
The aircraft design features bold JetBlue orange and blue “speed stripes” down the length of the Airbus A320, a popular characteristic of 1960s aircraft paint schemes. Above the window line “JetBlue Airways” is printed in a font [URW Franklin Gothic] consistent with a typeface [such as News and Franklin Gothics] widely used in the time period. And because today JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline® serving nearly 100 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, the words “New York International” accompany the airline’s name. But perhaps most notable is the aircraft tail. Absent is a simple airline logo or icon. Instead, JetBlue’s RetroJet tail features three colors and a lively 1960s jazz-inspired font [Craw Modern] that would have stood out among other airlines of the time. It’s a jet age take on JetBlue’s hallmark tails of today.
For inspiration, JetBlue designers spent several days at New York’s Lubalin Archive at the Cooper Union poring through original advertisements, graphics, images and fonts from the 1960s. The team looked to leading brands for guidance on common themes and design elements that were widely used and associated with 1960s style.