Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Exemplary bus livery design: Multiplicity, Luxembourg

From time to time, I've written about the graphic design of transit vehicle liveries as a key element of transit branding and marketing.

Luxury bus stopDC later improved its bus shelters, but in the DC area, each jurisdiction is responsible for bus shelters with design chaos being the end result.

I make the point that bus shelters are key touchpoints for marketing and branding transit, and that the quality of this infrastructure communicates whether or not transit is valued by a community.

And also that the system should be legible when you cross jurisdictional lines, but too often it isn't.

-- "Branding's (NOT) all you need for transit," 2018
-- "Transit, stations and placemaking: stations as entrypoints into neighborhoods," 2013
-- "World Usability Day, Thursday November 9th and urban planning," 2017 (section on transit as a design product)
-- "Design as a city branding strategy: transit edition," 2012

I was definitely influenced on this by how Montpellier France commissioned prominent designer Christian LaCroix to create the liveries on its light rail (tram) system.
Montpellier France trams, livery design by Christian Lacroix

I've also written about design and branding as an element of local government more generally.

-- "City branding versus identity | Branding versus Urban Strategy," 2019
-- "Part 7 | Using the Purple Line to rebrand Montgomery and Prince George's Counties as Design Forward," 2017
-- "Great concept, but I don't love the videos: Orlando's "Discover Your Urban" promotion campaign,"

Looking up something else, I came across the liveries for the bus system in Luxembourg, which is called Multiplicity.  According to the Binsfield design agency:
  • The design objective was "To reposition the Luxembourg City bus service and develop a visual identity for mobility and buses in the city."
  • The design approach: "The colored bands in the new design represent some of the city's transport routes, and the lines symbolize the roads and paths used to travel from A to B in the city."
  • The design result: "Buses bearing a colorful new design based on the "multiplicity" visual identity.
Great design!  The different colored stripes represent the color codes of the various bus lines.  Which are also used on the maps for the system ("A graphic designer just got his unauthorised redesign adopted as the official Luxembourg bus map," CityMetric). 

And the design is carried through to the different modes, which use vehicles different from larger buses.

Multiplicity Luxembourg 795, EW1401.

New Routemaster: Multiplicity Luxembourg

luxembourg - multiplicity 34 luxembourg 18-8-14 JL

Volvo 7700 - Multiplicity n°257

Luxembourg Multiplicity bus system, shopping bus

Luxumbourg Multiplicity bus system, Call a Bus transit van

Electric bus, Multiplicity bus system, Luxembourg
Photo from Twitter by Livio Filice.

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