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[ Site Map ]

Transdev

New:  Name decision, and visual identity

Launched:  26 March, 2013

Story in brief:
Based in France, Transdev is a multinational public transport operator of bus, tram and intercity rail lines in Europe, with operations in the Pacific and the Americas as well. Its principal owner is Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (in English, Deposits and Consignments Fund), an investing arm of the French government. 

Two years ago, Transdev merged with Veolia Transport, a subsidiary of the Veolia Environnement group (a spinoff, itself, from Vivendi).  This gets complicated. Temporarily, Transdev became "Veolia Transdev;" the plan was to take it public within a year, with a rebranding and an IPO . That didn't happen. Times, as we know, have been tough. Veolia decided to pull its investment (and necessarily, its brand as well).  Doubling down, Caisse (etc.) committed capital  and recruited a new CEO to recover, refresh and rebrand the business.  M. Janaillac came on board in December 2012, charged with creation of a global leader in the public transportation sector.

Rebranding was swift, aided by the full-service Paris agency named W (like the hotels, but no relation), a member of the Havas Group.  The name decision was easy, "Veolia" having been taken off the table. Said Janaillac, "The Transdev and Veolia Transport marks have been familiar to and appreciated by our clients for over twenty years; that's why we have chosen the name of one and the color of the other."   

Transdev borrowed Veolia's circle symbol, as well as its red, and W put a more recognizable person into the circle -- a person, in motion, that both employees and customers can identify with.  The script-like lower case wordmark reinforces the symbol's friendly personality.  W also designed a clean red-on-white visual system, applied comprehensively across print, signs, livery and on the website launched 26 March.

 

Credits:
C.E.O. - Jean-Marc Janaillac
Identity design - W  (Yes, W. That's W&CIE in Paris, a Havas unit)

 

 

First Impressions:
Strategy:  It's an excellent example of the use of a rebranding event to help restore employee, investor, customer (and in this case government) confidence in what must otherwise have seemed a shaken past and uncertain future. Overnight, Transdev looks more confident --  and better managed.
Design:  Highly effective. My personal expectations of public transport lean more toward reliability than friendliness, so I might prefer bolder, sharper letterforms.  And I could do without the gradated break in the symbol, that too easily reads as a flaw; but these are quibbles.  If design applications are sustained over time as well as at launch, the overall impact should be transformative.

 
 

 

Other Comments:
The agency named W was last noted by Identityworks in 2008, when we reviewed W's work for Sodexo. 
 

Corporate Brand Matrix ratings:  
60% structural,  40% strategic,  0% functional (est.)






 


 

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CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

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