for over 30 years we've been ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding how public transport is presented, perceived and promoted, we call it . . .creating desire
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Streaking between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, these trains shout speed, efficiency and the Virgin brand values in a contemporary, arresting vision.
When Stagecoach, with Virgin, won the prestigious East Coast inter-city rail franchise in 2015 and decided to brand it Virgin, they knew we would know how to bring the Virgin brand values to make the fleet of inter-city trains look sexy and stylish, and create desire for travel on this route.
With our ability to tease out the character and personality inherent in vehicle architecture, and knowing intuitively how to make colour, shape and form enhance each other, we have designed another modern icon.
The King’s City has rekindled the strong link between the bus network and the city it serves, embracing the spirit and character of the ancient city of Winchester with a modern twist.
Despite its centuries of heritage and kingly associations, Winchester is very much a thrusting modern city with modern businesses and quite an affluent, sophisticated population. Therefore, the image and presentation, although building on heritage, had to be smart, clean and contemporary, and win the hearts and minds of the local population, local businesses and stakeholders.
Long live the King!
Understanding and respecting train architecture - its rhythms, resonances, form and function - is the first step to creating a stunning livery.
Our livery designs strive to accentuate any inherent personality that lies within the architecture of any vehicle or, conversely, mitigate any awkwardness in the vehicle design. Livery and form then have natural sympathy and, brought together through good design, communicate far more effectively.
Add in our unbridled passion, clear vision, effervescent enthusiasm and in-depth understanding of the South West Trains brand, and you can see how our use of full-on, bold, primary colours balanced with outrageous, sexy curves gave these commuter trains - and other rolling stock types in the South West Trains fleet - a vibrant, contemporary, stylish tilt for two decades.
Our latest incarnation of the famous 36 route between Ripon, Harrogate and Leeds has helped raise this pioneering bus route to a whole new level, and convert more people to choosing the 36 as their preferred mode of travel.
It’s gone down a storm, thanks to attention to detail, like contrast twin stitching on soft Muirhead black and charcoal leather with lipstick red headrests, for example.
Sharing a common vision for this route with the team at Harrogate Bus Company meant it was easy to progress better seating arrangements (instead of the obsession of cramming too many uncomfortable seats in the wrong places) and add stylish touches to enhance the whole travelling experience.
Then there is that wickedly seductive black and red couture livery to complement the vehicles’ architecture and make this truly a statement brand that really does create desire . . .
Which, as you must know by now, is exactly what we’re all about.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what a map should look like, other than be attractive and enticing and give you the correct information to use the transport system it is showing with confidence.
The best maps are those that excite and draw you in, then either encourage you to linger and explore, if that is their purpose, or tell you what you need to know in an instant. Too complicated and they just overwhelm, too simple and they fail to give you that confidence you need.
We always find the best solution to the problem, whether that’s creating desire for a trip by bus out into the country or to the seaside, explaining a complex network in an easy-to-follow urban set-up, or showing you where to get on and off your bus in a town or city.
Our approaches are varied but our maps always display the Best Impressions hallmarks of clarity and purpose. And they look gorgeous, too, always creating desire for public transport.
It’s a fast-changing world out there and it’s encouraging when the more forward-thinking operators discover new market opportunities or are looking at ways to make their offerings more relevant to the markets they serve.
Transdev Blazefield, under the command of the energetic Alex Hornby, launched its first CityZap in 2016 and started getting impressive results almost from day one. This set out to exploit the need for rapid, non-stop, turn-up-and-go high quality city-to-city bus travel aimed in part at the price-savvy but also creating an viable alternative to the train.
Best Impressions was there at the beginning, creating a cool, contemporary brand that was in perfect tune with the market it set out to serve and captured the imagination, and we designed the suite of publicity to go with it.
The northern stretches of the Pennines have a haunting beauty and the bus route that traverses them from Carlisle through lovely Hexham to Newcastle is truly a great British bus route and a grand way to enjoy the wild landscapes and attractive towns along the way.
We were asked to look at creating a brand and look for this that could be shared by the two operators that jointly ran this route. Hitherto, standard corporate liveries were worn by the buses, confusing potential users and not reflecting the true nature of the product.
Cross-Pennine wears vibrant yet soft green colours and resonates with the landscapes it passes through, making it belong to its environment and the people who use it, and encourage new journeys to be made with confidence.
© Best Impressions