OH&Co rebrands railroad giant

One of the most widely recognised corporate identities in the US is to be replaced after 29 years. Railroad company Amtrak is introducing a new identity in a bid to help communicate other changes now being implemented. New York consultancy Oppenheimer Haueter & Co is responsible for the new look.

Last week the rail company introduced an “unconditional guarantee of guest satisfaction”, which it claims is a first among US travel companies. “This Satisfaction Guarantee represents our promise to travellers that Amtrak will treat you like a guest and make service excellence the central focus of everything we do,” says Governor Tommy Thompson, the company’s chairman of the board of directors.

The guarantee is one of a number of changes, introduced as part of a plan to meet a Congressional mandate that Amtrak improves its financial performance and achieves operational self-sufficiency by 2003. A 1 per cent increase in passenger retention would increase revenues by $13m (£8.6m), the company calculates. Amtrak operates 22 000 miles of intercity tracks, serving 45 states.

The new Travel Mark replaces the former inverted arrow logo. “A new Amtrak needs a new brand identity,” says George Warrington, Amtrak president and chief executive officer.

The new image is intended to serve as a master brand, and an endorsement for sub-brands. It will be introduced gradually, in a “cost conscious manner”, over a period of at least two years. It introduces a new Amtrak Blue corporate colour, while retaining the Amtrak name, which the company considers to be too valuable to discard.

“Change in a brand’s appearance for the sake of change means nothing if there is nothing of value behind it,” says OH&Co managing partner Robin Haueter. “Under the new [brand] architecture, Amtrak is bringing greater rationality and consistency to the numerous service names it inherited during its formation almost 30 years ago.”

Latest articles

First look at London Design Fair 2019

Much of the work at this year’s event is underpinned by sustainability, with designs from the likes of Mexico, the UAE and Scandinavia all being featured for their eco-friendly credentials.