New: Name decision, and visual
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
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
launched 26 March.
C.E.O. - Jean-Marc Janaillac
Identity design - W (Yes, W. That's W&CIE in Paris, a Havas unit)
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.
The agency named W was last noted by Identityworks in 2008, when
we reviewed W's work
Corporate Brand Matrix ratings:
structural, 40% strategic, 0% functional (est.)
CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac