Monday Roundup – 28th September 2015

28th September 2015

As a brand consultancy based in Newcastle upon Tyne we always like to keep an eye on the wider happenings in the design world. Lots can happen in a week, so grab a coffee and enjoy some of the stories that have caught our eye over the last few days.

The Renaissance of Rail?

First Great Western has become Great Western Railway in a rebrand that links back to the companies heritage and a golden age in the history of British rail. It hails the rebirth of a name that was first used in 1838 when legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel built an unprecedented rail network that linked the South West with the West of England and most of Wales. The name was lost during nationalisation in 1948 when the network became the Western Region of British Railways.

The new design by Pentagram follows the brief to echo a “renaissance of rail” as the company is set to invest a huge £7.5bn in the network over the next three years. The logo is an evolution of the original GWR insignia with the ‘W’ emphasising the connection with “the West” and the green colour reflective of the original engines running the line.

Wether GWR will be able to replicate it’s impressive history by moving forward with a service that reflects it’s ambition; to return to a “a 21st century railway that would make Brunel himself proud” will surely be the real measure of the success of the new brand.

VW Crisis

The Volkswagen brand has taken a massive hit over the last week; previously regarded as a solid, trustworthy manufacturer of high quality vehicles, the company is now reeling from arguably the biggest crisis in its history. Many are reporting the scandal to be worse than the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010; which was due to negligence, VW on the other hand have intentionally set out to mislead – by using software in its vehicles to ‘fix’ emission test results. How the brand will recover after breaking the trust of its customers and the public will be a huge challenge. It will certainly be interesting to see how they go about fixing their reputation and communicate with their audience over the coming months to rebuild trust and attempt to get the brand back on track.

Bringing Ideas to Life

Honda’s latest advert continues their run of awe inspiring creativity and skill in producing a visually stunning piece of film. ‘Paper’ tells the history of the brand using thousands of illustrated pages and stop motion animation to create a two minute film, all shot on one large table. It’s another refreshing piece of marketing from Honda who are not afraid to step away from the predictable style that generally features within car advertising.

Under ‘The Power of Dreams’ motif the ad celebrates bringing ideas to life – highlighting the expertise and creativity of its designers and engineers; featuring many of the brands successful and diverse products created over its history. Rather than focussing on one particular product, the advert aims to reinforce the brands overall appeal as an innovative and forward thinking business as well as highlighting it’s prolific history of success. It’s a pleasure to watch; clever, entertaining and memorable.