Eurostar’s sculptural new identity

Eurostar is to unveil a new adaptive identity system created by SomeOne which has a 200kg steel and fibreglass sculpture at its heart

Eurostar is to unveil a new adaptive identity system created by SomeOne which has a 200kg sculpture at its heart

SomeOne‘s Simon Manchipp caused a stir in our sister publication Design Week last April when he explained his belief in ‘brand worlds’ as opposed to logos on their own. “Logos are a hangover from another time,” he claimed. The logo, he argued, now needs to be seen in the context of a wider ‘brand world’. “[With a] brand like O2, its success lies in the richness and depth of its ‘brand world’, which features bubbles, colour, photography and typography…you could remove the logo and still know the brand,” he argued.

Manchipp is putting these ideas into practice with the Eurostar project. Its starting point is a sculptural form initially created in Maya but then built for real in fibreglass and steel (see above). The form creates an ‘e’ for Eurostar which doubles as a cross-section of a tunnel through which another element suggests the movement of a train.

This form will then be applied to print materials, the trains themselves and all the other media you might expect. It is wrapped in different materials according to usage – gold for Business Premier class, a duck egg pattern for Eurostar’s friends and family scheme, marble for its loyalty scheme etc.

Eurostar has recently re-organised from three companies into one, London-based entity. A £700 million investment will see new trains in preparation for competition from other train companies such as Deutsche Bahn. This has given SomeOne the opportunity to incorporate its new ‘brand world’ into the train interiors (which will be designed by Pininfarina).

Signage will feature pictograms derived from the sculpture (is it just us or does the lady in the toilet pictogram above look like she needs to get inside that loo pretty damn quickly?) as well as a bespoke typeface with snap-on swashes created by OurType.

The approach is somewhat reminiscent of Miles Newlyn’s work for 3. Like that work, the form is perhaps inevitably more impressive in 3D than when applied in two dimensions. A giant sculpture, perhaps wrapped by some famous artist, would no doubt look spectacular at the entrance to Gare-du-Nord or St Pancras, SomeOne’s task, and that of the ad agencies it works with, will be to mirror that impact in all the other regions of its ‘brand world’.

It’s too early to tell whether they will be able to pull that off or whether Eurostar will be remembered as just another shiny 3D symbol, the like of which we have seen many times over the past few years. SomeOne has the next year working with Eurostar to deliver on the idea’s considerable potential.

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