XNA unveils new logo to match regional branding

New XNA logo by Walrus NYC

FAYETTEVILLE — Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) is getting a new look.

XNA officials on Wednesday unveiled a new logo and showed off some example branding elements that travelers will soon start to notice.

The work was designed by New York agency Walrus in conjunction with Northwest Arkansas’ regional branding, said airport spokesperson Alex English.

“We wanted XNA to mirror the region and for our brand to be representative of how fantastic Northwest Arkansas is as a whole and to have that continuity across the community,” said English.

The Northwest Arkansas Council is currently running an initiative to attract workers to the region from other cities around the country.

A billboard in Seattle / Northwest Arkansas Council

The council’s “Life Works Here” campaign aims to convince those in STEM, creative, tech and entrepreneurial fields to move to Northwest Arkansas.

The Walrus-designed regional branding is being used on billboards in cities like Austin, Texas with statements such as “It’s like Austin, but affordable” and “Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the mortgage payments.” A billboard pitch in Seattle over the fall included the phrase, “Go South, young tech workers” and “Our Fortune 500 companies are hiring.”

The ad campaign follows an incentive program from early 2021 which gave select remote workers $10,000 and a free bike if they relocated here within six months.

English said the first person to suggest a rebranding of the airport to match the regional campaign was Blake Woolsey, who serves on the XNA board of directors.

Style guide examples by Walrus NYC

Seeing a cohesion between the region’s brand and the look and feel of the airport could help sway someone who is considering moving to Northwest Arkansas, said Woolsey.

“Our airport in many cases can be the very first impression somebody has of Northwest Arkansas,” said Woolsey. “We know how important that first impression can be because it can make or break whether somebody wants to return or whether they want to take a job and move to Northwest Arkansas.”

Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council, said he’s excited that the airport has adopted some of the same style guidelines as the council.

Side-by-side branding by Walrus NYC

Although XNA serves several communities that each have their own identities, Peacock said collectively they share commonalities when it comes to quality of life, economic opportunity and inclusivity.

“So to the rest of the nation, we want to tell a cohesive story and this brand identity helps us do that,” Peacock said.

The first change people will notice is a rebranding of the airport’s website and social media, English said. After that, crews will slowly begin rolling out new signage and other elements throughout the airport.

English said airport officials are also in talks with Fayetteville agency Creative for some new branded merchandise for XNA.