Brand identity emphasizing connectivity and innovation developed for high-speed transportation company, Texas Central.
Texas is set to build a state-of-the-art bullet train in 2019. The new high speed railway system will be the first of its kind in North America—connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston—allowing travel between two of the biggest major metropolitan areas in Texas in less than ninety minutes. The project aims to create an identity system that is sustainable while communicating the core values of Texas Central.
One of the primary goals when creating the brand identity is establishing what Texas Central represents that other transportation companies don’t already promote. Based on the research, I found that the United States has a much more difficult time creating infrastructure that allows large-scale transportation systems like bullet trains to flourish, compared to places such as Japan or Europe. This is due to many factors such as problematic city planning, scarcity of transport systems within cities, and of course sub-optimal market availability.
This means that the construction of this bullet train is not just groundbreaking for Texas and the United States; it is ground breaking for all of North America. Creating mass transit infrastructure that connects two of the major economic hubs in Texas can drastically change the economic (and conjointly political) landscape of Texas. This concept is the basis of the Texas Central brand platform: current, connected, coherent.
Texas Central showcases Texas as a modern landscape. It is contemporary, vibrant and magnifies the progressive, urban aspects of Texas that often goes unrecognized. When creating the identity it was important that the brand be sustainable so it can remain the face of Texas Central for years, while being flexible enough to be expanded as Texas Central grows.
The primary elements in the identity system are the brand-mark, logo, and typographic language. A well defined typographic system enables the identity to be adaptable, responsive and open, allowing for cohesion among a wide variety of functions and implementations. Foundry Gridnik and IBM Plex are the two primary typefaces used in the brand identity. Foundry Gridnik was chosen for the geometric precision within the letter-forms, and IBM Plex for the breadth of the font family and its cohesion with Gridnik.
The main word-mark is a modified version of Foundry Gridnik, its letter-forms redrawn to work in conjunction with the logo. The logo was drawn to thrive at various scales, creating a visual impact that is clean and recognizable on small digital platforms while remaining effective large-scale in the physical world.
While digital and print collateral are significant mediums in which the Texas Central brand is delivered, the identity system is versatile enough to be utilized in any way, such as promotional materials, uniforms, way-finding and even the train itself.
Throughout the branding, the use of color allow elements to shine and helps the brand feel accessible and dynamic. The color palette comprised of light to dark greys and absence of pure black allow the bright orange accent color to pop in any implementation.
A brand guideline is provided to ensure the Texas Central brand retains its integrity and maintains an optimum performance across its many different platforms and applications.