Rail free pitch sparks furore

Design groups whose identity work was scrapped by a new freight company have been approached to take part in a free pitch to redesign the winning concepts of a public competition.

English Welsh & Scottish Railway has asked the designers of its recent acquisitions to create a new identity from the efforts submitted to the privatised company by the general public.

“The principle of competition devalues design. The client should have stuck with a specialist,” says Pierre Vermeir, creative director of HGV (formerly Halpin Grey Vermeir), whose design for Mainline Freight was axed by EW&S.

“If the client cannot see the difference between good and bad design, then why can’t the trainspotter develop the logo?” Vermeir adds.

Venture, Peartree Design Associates and Roundel also saw their identities binned for Load Haul, Transrail and Rail Express Systems respectively.

EW&S has approached HGV, Peartree, Venture and one other consultancy, IKA. Peartree partner Ewing Paddock declines to comment on his response to the approach. The deadline for the pitch is 25 August.

The holding company, which bought four former British Rail freight companies, threw the design of its logo open to readers of Rail magazine and company staff (DW 10 May).

EH6 Design Consultants has recently created a new identity for ScotRail’s relaunched Caledonian Sleeper service.

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