Rebranding Metrolink

“We chose to work with Hemisphere on the basis of their extensive experience of large-scale branding projects and their understanding of and enthusiasm for the city's regeneration.”

Philip Purdy

A new look for Manchester's iconic light rail system

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The Metrolink system is set to more than double in size by 2015 and in 2009 Hemisphere was tasked with developing a new visual identity that would be carried across the whole of the expanded network as new extensions and improvements are implemented. This include new tram livery design, as well as signage, station stops, uniforms, ticket vending machines and system mapping and literature.

The new identity aims to position Metrolink as a forward-looking and contemporary public transport service and its rebranding will play a fundamental role in the city's drive to position itself as a major European capital.  As part of the project, Hemisphere researched and took account of what works well and why in successful integrated transport systems across Europe.

The new tram livery designs are based on a sleek metallic silver body, with a yellow nose that blends into the body using a graphic device of graduated circles, denoting speed and a sense of forward momentum. The first new trams hit the streets of the city in December 2009 and are now a well established sight on the city streets as their numbers are increasing.

Our aim was to create a more flexible identity scheme for Metrolink than the traditional monolithic logo approach, hence the development of the highly adaptable Metrolink 'speed graphic' device that can be implemented across the board, from literature and signage to digital displays and online information. Implied reliability and quality, plus high on street visibility are key aspects of the new look and feel.

A cornerstone of the identity is the bespoke exclusive font family, Pantograph, created in conjuction with Dalton Maag.