Italian state railway identity

XMPR’s corporate identity for the Italian State Railway – one of the largest of its kind in Europe – is unveiled this week at the Italian Trade Centre, after two years’ intensive study into the minutiae of this enormous communication package.

The identity is part of a country-wide bid to improve the railway’s image and services in the public eye. Service is already vastly improved, according to XMPR managing director Rob Davie, who now prefers to travel in Italy by train rather than car. `I took a train yesterday from Rome to Milan, it left on the dot and got there five minutes early – it never used to be like that,’ he says. `We want people to see our symbol and know the railways are not as they have been for the past 100 years.’

XMPR beat Europe-wide competition to win the job in 1992, after a four-way unpaid pitch against Landor Associates, Unimark International and Italian consultancy Gerecon Italian.

Ferrovie dello Stato SpA (FS) is an umbrella organisation for Italian trains and ferries. A restructuring meant that the identities of various sub-organisations needed to be incorporated into the overall identity. Uniforms, plates, cups, and even toilet rolls will feature the logo, which XMPR wanted to be `less aggressive and mechanical’ than its predecessor. `The previous identity had two very distinct letters, F and S, which were static and solid-looking,’ says Davie. `We reduced the importance of the S in the logo to distance it from state ownership.’ (FS is partly state-owned).

The new design is based on a rhombus, which XMPR saw as `dynamic, positive and progressive’. According to the group, green represents values such as responsibility, trust and competence; blue indicates professionalism, efficiency and commitment; and light blue refers to `the blue skies of a new dawn for the company’.

A corporate alphabet has also been specifically designed, which will only be reproduced in capitals. It will be five to ten years before the design will be implemented all over Italy.

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