In South Africa, Metrorail is an integral part of many people's lives. Transporting more than 2 million people from A - B daily. For this brief I was tasked to focus on a specific part of community within South Africa and to create visuals to represent, inform or serve that community. The aim of this brand reimagine is to serve those who currently use the train service and to offer creative solutions to existing problems the brand currently faces.
Whilst conducting customer research I noticed there were many problems currently with Metrorail and the service they provide. The main issues being: Safety, unreliability, lack of information and confusion on both the station platform and the train itself (amongst many others). As such a crucial means of transportation for many South Africans, I decided it was important to address these main issues and present a creative alternative.
Through both re-branding and re-imagining Metrorail, issues of safety, unreliability, lack of information and environmental confusion will be addressed. This will be done through creating a clear brand identity and communication system that can work across multiple platforms as well as creating a unified information system and re-imagining the physical station environment.
(Above) The wayfaring icons have been simplified and de-cluttered to bring unity to the new branding. They aim to give the customer a clear and easy understanding of where to go and how to get there, without unnecessary information. Creating a smooth and straight forward journey for both new and seasoned travellers.
(Below) The ticket system will be upgraded to offer two different cards. The paper card will be for customers wanting to only use the train once in a while (in-frequent users). Whereas the metrocard will be for frequent travellers, where customers can purchase weekly or monthly tickets to load on to the card, or ‘top up’ credit which can be used for any journey. This cuts down on paper ticket costs and is an easier to use for the customer to use repeatedly. There is a R20 fee for the card itself but it will last for years. Customers will then swipe the card over the access machine on each platform, creating a safer environment on the trains and platforms themselves.
(Below) New uniforms will be introduced to represent the new brand, but to also to encourage a sense of pride and responsibility for the workers. Each employee will wear their personal ID on a lanyard which will enable them certain access to areas and create a safer station environment and positive work environment.
In Line Maps
(Below) The metrorail line maps have been created and placed in prominent locations on the travellers journey. Currently there are no train maps on the train itself and are rare to find on the platform or station itself, when they are often they have been vandalised so are unreadable. By placing the new line maps on the train itself the traveller may easily identify which line they are on, where they are in the journey and how far away they are from their destination. The lines have been clearly differentiated with bold colours allowing them to be easily followed across multiple wayfaring platforms.
(Below) One of the problems that arose from speaking to current train users was that with the existing train service there is minimal information about which station is which or what stations are on the line on the platform and station itself. To solve this problem I designed physical information points to help the traveller on their journey to know where they are and where they are going, these will stand on the platform itself.
After researching the existing target market for metrorail, I understood that the majority of customers do not necessarily have access to a smart phone or data for wifi. With this in mind and to address issues of unreliability of the trains, I have created a free SMS system where customers can text ‘8888’ and can receive updates on their phone with how late their train is, costs of tickets or other useful information. An app would not be appropriate for this target market. This will hopefully solve the problem of people waiting for hours and hours for their train to come, when they could be taking alternative transport. Posters will be put up around the train and platform to ensure that all travellers are aware of this free service.
(Below) Currently graffiti is a big issue for metrorail, with many trains and platforms vandalised it is costing millions for the company to fix. For the new re-imagine of metrorail, I propose a re-purposing of graffiti in a way that can uplift the community and create safer station environments. Each community surrounding the station can select a local graffiti artist to propose a specific piece on their local platform. This can be in a subway leading to the station or on the platform itself. The artist will then be able to create their own unique art, specific to that location. This hopefully will invoke a sense of community pride with those around the specific platform. It will also support the new branding and the vibrant personality of metrorail. These examples below are from existing South African artists.
Top images: Existing graffiti at Observatory station
Below images: Proposed new artwork
(Below) Existing metrorail train carriages are often highly vandalised over the course of their life usage, leaving a distressed and damaged exterior. As part of the rebranding, the design of the train exterior will reflect the fast, efficient, modern re-branding of metrorail.