Corail identity gets back on track

Brand Company, the Paris-based design consultancy owned by advertising group TBWA/ France, has revamped the identity of Corail, the standard class train brand of French national rail operator SNCF.

This project represents the completion of a major repositioning of SNCF services by the consultancy. Two years ago, Brand Company redesigned the identity for the high-speed TGV train, as well as developing the image of Transilien, the overland network in the Paris suburbs.

Brand Company president Denis Bonan says, ‘We had to establish a link [with TGV] in terms of the identity, but SNCF didn’t want Corail to be seen as a sub-brand. The family connection was created by using the same 3D effect in the Corail typography and its modern, horizontal-style look.’

Whereas the TGV identity features the three letters running together to denote speed, the Corail logo has more rounded contours that reflect the comfort of the train and the shape of the windows.

‘With Corail, which provides the regular normal-speed service, it’s about having time to look out of the window at the landscape and that’s what inspired the design,’ Bonan adds.

The Corail brand has been around since the 1970s when it was the premier train fleet in France, says Bonan. It is now being relaunched as the state-owned SNCF adopts a more commercial approach to marketing and customer communications.

TGV faces strong competition from Air France’s internal business flights on Mediterranean routes, while Corail will seek to tempt travellers away from the roads.

Brand Company was awarded the work in July, following a three-way pitch.

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