Transport for Edinburgh

We were tasked to cost-effectively create and implement a seamless suite of brands for Transport for Edinburgh, the new company providing integrated transport for the city.

  • Brand & Identity

The journey begins

Transport for Edinburgh is a new company set up with a vision of providing seamless and high quality transport for residents and visitors to the city.

The new brand has a mixed heritage. The Lothian Buses brand which had served the people of Edinburgh since 2000 had built high levels of goodwill carrying over two million passengers a week, but the trams initiative, now run by Edinburgh Trams Ltd, had faced considerable controversy since the project was proposed in 2001.

If successful, the new branding could help Transport for Edinburgh present a fresh vision and a positive step forward for the people of Edinburgh by the end of 2013. So, the aim was to build a solid platform of trust and credibility for the new integrated brands.

Effective route planning

There’s not the room here to detail all the stages of careful design planning and development that went into the process, but these numbers provide an indication of the scale of the task in a few short months.

  • 100+ pages of proposed concepts
  • 50+ client and stakeholder meetings
  • 3 chosen routes
  • 6 focus groups
  • And finally a strategy for 1 integrated brand

A united brand infrastructure

We’ve created an umbrella Transport for Edinburgh marque which interacts with the sub brands of Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams, effectively communicating the integration of Edinburgh’s transport infrastructure. The same concept of interaction can be rolled out in future years to unite other Edinburgh transport brands such as Park & Ride and Cycle.

We had to consider cost-effective implementation. The new repair vehicles allowed us to create full livery from scratch, but we used a simpler option so the brand could be applied to existing bus and tram livery at minimal cost.

Matt Weaver

Design Director

Gearing up for a smooth launch

And then life began to get exciting. Photo shoots of the new trams were logistically tricky with the only opportunities being two test runs being carried out through Edinburgh in the dead of night in a freezing, December.

Secrecy was vital — with no brand imagery to be live before the ministerial launch on 17th December. A dedicated team began branding 174 tram stop signs in high winds in the early hours of the morning of the launch. And our technical team had the slightly easier job of flicking the switch on the new websites from the comfort of the office at lunchtime.

Integrated digital platform

As well as implementing the brand on uniforms, timetables and pin badges, we produced a seamless digital experience, using Transport for Edinburgh as a central hub with a simple header allowing users to easily navigate between the three websites.

Brand guidelines

Key to cost effective implementation is ensuring the Transport for Edinburgh in-house marketing team can use the brand consistently themselves with minimal agency input.

We worked collaboratively with the team to produce comprehensive but straightforward brand guidelines covering every detail such as correct logo uses, colour rules, graphic devices, repeat patterns, photography and iconography. This should guarantee future consistency of the brands and maximize its impact across all communication channels.

What the client said

“We hope that our fully integrated public transport offering will encourage even more people to choose public transport as an alternative to private cars and this project was the first step to communicating this proposition. We are delighted the new branding has been positively received by our demanding customers and stakeholders, with many now truly understanding our overall aim of providing an integrated service. Whitespace needed to deliver this high-profile project to a very high standard, on-time and within a tight budget, which they achieved. They showed solid commercial awareness by working collaboratively with our internal team and stakeholders to develop creative which could be cost-effectively implemented now and in the future.”

Ian Craig, Chief Executive, Transport for Edinburgh

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