Greater Manchester’s public transport authority, GMPTA, has unveiled a new look for the city’s iconic Metrolink trams, designed by Manchester-based Hemisphere.
The new tram livery design is part of GMPTA’s expansion plans for the Metrolink system, with 40 new trams, costing just over £2 million each, already on order. The new trams will be added to the Metrolink network over the next three years and will run on the existing system as well on the new lines to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden, Chorlton and MediacityUK in Salford Quays.
Hemisphere was appointed following a five-way competitive tender process in May 2008 and the agency has developed the new livery design working alongside a panel of design industry experts, including Manchester’s creative director, Peter Saville; font foundry Dalton Maag and transport design specialists, Design Triangle.
The new tram designs are based on a sleek metallic silver body, with a yellow nose that blends into the body using a graphic pattern of graduated circles, denoting speed and a sense of forward movement.
Hemisphere creative director, Grant Windridge, explains, “As part of the project we researched what works well and why in successful light rail systems across Europe. Key customer requirements for public transport are those of reliability, speed and safety so the new tram livery combines all those elements with an added Manchester twist. The chosen yellow will be a strong and visible colour on the street and the graduated circles imply smoothness and speed. It’s impactful, yet it’s also a very flexible design that has the adaptability to grow and develop along with the city of Manchester.”
Sue Vanden, Hemisphere’s marketing director, adds, “This is a fantastic project to be involved in, as Metrolink is such a strong symbol of Manchester and holds a place of great affection in many people’s hearts. It was a key part of the brief to portray the system as being reinvigorated by this latest investment, giving it a fresh sense of momentum and direction as well as creating a highly-visible tram design that would be distinctive and iconic for Manchester.”
Metrolink’s director, Philip Purdy, comments, “This new look for Metrolink is going to play a key role in communicating our commitment to providing better services for the people of Greater Manchester through our planned extensions and improvements. Hemisphere was selected for the job on the basis of their extensive experience of large-scale branding projects and also their understanding of and enthusiasm for the city’s regeneration. We’re delighted with the new identity scheme, which is really distinctive yet also flexible and easily adaptable.”
Hemisphere, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, specialises in place branding, tourism and cultural projects. The agency has been responsible for creating successful brand identities for Salford, Sunderland, Bolton and Oldham and its clients include Northwest Development Agency, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Art Gallery and The Lowry.
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