Saatchi Design seasons TfL card

Transport for London has begun testing a smartcard with more than 70 000 staff this week, ahead of an expected rollout to the capital’s commuters next year. Called Oyster, the ticketing system has been named and branded by Saatchi Design for TranSys, the consortium behind the project.

Saatchi Design created the name and core logotype, but the broader identity work is understood to be at an early stage. ‘This represents the tip of the iceberg,’ says a Saatchi Design spokesman.

Elements such as the colour palette and applications like signage are still to be defined, with design director Ian Lanksbury leading the consultancy team.

According to a TfL spokesman, the Oyster name was chosen because ‘its meaning, sounds and associations’ are of relevance to the brand.

TfL expects to phase in Oyster for season ticket holders in ‘spring or summer 2003’. Six thousand buses, 255 London Underground stations, 28 National Rail stations and 2300 local ticket outlets have been equipped with the hardware for what is one of the world’s biggest travel smartcard initiatives.

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