SomeOne Rebrands Southeastern Rail
Southeastern Rail is part of the Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s main public transport operators and runs train services in South East London, Kent and parts of East Sussex. It serves 550,000 customers every day on more than 2,000 train services.
The existing brand identity for Southeastern was developed back in 2006, but with the advent of a new franchise extension award and more investment being undertaken, it was felt that the identity needed to reflect these new investments.
According to London-based design practice SomeOne, the main challenge to Southeastern was the inflexibility of it’s current identity. The fact that it struggled with the varying communication requirements – from mandatory information like timetables and improvement work, to promotional and campaign messages to travellers.
SomeOne felt Southeastern needed a more discernible and appropriate tone of voice – one that is able to be a little bit formal when needed, but also built to live in a digital and social media world. One that is flexible, and familiar.
This needed to be done in a way that didn’t require significant change to the core identity, as this was present on all of the trains and stations, and would require considerable and unnecessary budget to change.
As a result, the designers conceived of a “helping hand” intervention, overlaid onto a revised brand identity, with a richer colour palette, simplified logo, and new type style.
“It’s all about helping out in any way we can on trains and on platforms. More ticket machines over there? Let us show you. Bike storage? Right this way. We’ve put together a huge number of easy to use assets to allow Southeastern to cut through with a fun and useful voice,” says SomeOne’s lead designer Tom Myers.
“By introducing a variety of sleeves and objects, each representing a different customer, member of staff or action, the hand can constantly adapt to any communication. It allows every piece of information to be presented uniquely, tailored according to the subject, whilst sitting in a distinctly Southeastern brand world,” adds SomeOne’s designer Paul Ransom.