Stagecoach in Carlisle

Establishing a unique, powerful, local brand in the context of a massive international corporation is always tricky. When new buses initially arrived in Carlisle they were already heavily branded in Stagecoach corporate identity, but the local division still wanted their own bright, bespoke identity. The buses were given huge vinyls, applied in conjunction with the existing branding, and in my view this looked compromised. So my role was then to take elements of each competing visual force and try to create harmony in the information and publicity surrounding the launch.


Stagecoach use Gill Sans and Bliss as their two corporate fonts, and blue as their primary visual backdrop, and the Carlisle brand uses brightly coloured geometric shapes to denote individual routes in the city. Here I’ve designed leaflet covers for each route and have expanded on the theme of the bus exterior branding to create a wholly integrated design, but with the familiarity of the Stagecoach look incorporated.


Below is a two-fold pizza leaflet-style door drop to promote places people can go from their local area. The cover, ‘Carlisle awaits’, is a teaser and the first fold out reveals the introduction to how buses in Carlisle have evolved, with information about pricing. Turning over the fully unfolded leaflet reveals a comprehensive network map I have drawn from scratch, complete with route frequencies and suggestions of places to visit. Finding your way around Carlisle has become simple, with all the essential information integrated in one place. Click, touch or tickle to expand.


Fortunately in 2015 a new order of buses was made and this time they agreed to paint them all over blue, so the colour coded branding finally worked the way it should.


Oxford Tube (Stagecoach in Oxford)

The Oxford Tube is a well-established and hugely popular coach service, running up to every 10 minutes, 24/7 between London Victoria and Oxford city centre. But despite its popularity there is still room for growth, attracting people away from trains and cars. In each ad on the rear of the coaches I've focused on a single benefit to the consumer, making it quick and easy to digest. I write all the copy for ads myself when clients present a blank canvas. These ads will be seen briefly by drivers on the motorway and pedestrians in the two cities. I have a tiny space in which to clearly get the message across, not the massive coach canvas it might seem to be. The ads have to be simple, and they have to stand out next to the three massive bars of chrome above them.