Eurostar rebranded by SomeOne
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director of Eurostar says that this rebrand sets to underpin significant change at
Eurostar ‘After an amazing 16 years of providing the leading European international train service, we have
committed to a £700 million investment to radically improve and invent new services, products and their
organisation as a whole.
The organisation — once three companies — is now one company and is more agile and speedily adaptive
than ever before.
With so much change — we needed a way to signal what’s new within the service — our new visual identity
will signal these changes... so where you see the new look, you’ll experience our new thinking.’
Change is afoot at Eurostar and the new £700 m investment is already taking effect.
Is there a central thought?
Design is very much at the heart of the new thinking. Every customer experience is being deeply considered
to ensure the traveller gets the very best out of their time on-board, on-line or on any part of the Eurostar
Everything is designed to reflect Eurostar’s design-led ethos.
One brand, many ideas — all beautifully designed to give people a better experience
What will we see change?
A new fleet of state-of-the-art trains has been designed, with interiors created by Pininfarina to redefine what
customers should expect from international train travel.
A new faster website will speed up booking by at least 20% as well as allowing customers to more swiftly and
easily create bespoke travel plans beyond the three core destinations of Paris, Brussels & London.
The environmental programme ‘Tread Lightly’ will be enhanced and more deeply applied to the bedrock of
all new design thinking ensuring Eurostar remains one of the most carbon efficient and ecologically sound
ways of traveling.
What was the design methodology?
SomeOne’s approach to the re-brand was unusual in that it didn’t rely on one idea, but many ideas in many
channels to create a more adaptive, flexible and useful visual identity.
‘This re-brand was about creating symbols of change, not a change of symbol.’
Said SomeOne’s Co-founder, Simon Manchipp
‘At SomeOne we’re quite well known for having said we don’t think Logo’s do enough to help products,
services and organisations differentiate, communicate and adapt in the modern world.
So we created a multitude of ways Eurostar can create exiting experiences for their customers and staff,
everything is adaptive, everything points towards Eurostar’s design-led point of view.
What was actually created by SomeOne?
Some of the things that are included in this first burst of work:
» Brand Values, Strategy & Tone of Voice
» A three dimensional brand sculpture
» An extensive set of onboard online and off-line pictograms
» signs and icons
» A signature bespoke typeface
» an updated colour scheme
» New digital applications
» Brochures, Booklets, Posters and Packs.
» On-Board magazines, Advertising
» Differentiation between new classes of service
» Newly defined loyalty schemes
We’re working with Eurostar as the Brand Guardians managing the migration from old to new.
Sculptures not logos:
Why a Sculpture?
Eurostar is a physical product but also a deeply loved promise of travel abroad. We saw a huge amount of
excitement that comes with travelling on ‘The Eurostar’ as some people call it.
Twitter is often alight with praise and the thrill of arriving in London from Paris in such an effortless way.
There’s no nasty 2hr check-in, no over the top security, just sensible, slick, well run systems that get you on
your way swiftly and efficiently.
It was this feeling of effortless travel, of the fact that Eurostar opens the way to new experiences that we
wanted to get across in the sculpture. It needed to feel modern and crisp in its construction.
What inspired the sculpture’s look?
We looked at the work of Zaha Hadid & the Futurists who captured the idea of motion, speed and dynamism
We made a physical sculpture that will be used in communications and will be used physically in Eurostar
locations across Europe.
How did we actually make it?
We worked with rapid prototyping which enables computer graphic files to be ‘printed’ in three dimensions.
Core structures were crafted in CAD programme Maya to achieve the perfect form then went to high
resolution texture mapping and finally photoshop to achieve the quality of image files we needed to be
The files are so high quality they could be used to wrap a building, if we wanted to!
What do Eurostar think of it?
‘SomeOne have not just re-branded our organisation, they have created a work of art that we are simply
delighted to call our own’
Sarah Sempala-Ntege, Head of Brand & Design at Eurostar
Pictograms & Signage
Eurostar is an international service with many nationalities of people using the service every day. Non-
written communications are the only practical way of sign posting the essentials on board. From safety
information to where to find your nearest glass of Champagne.
The pictograms used on board had evolved from basic standard icons and needed a total overhaul to ensure
everything the customer experienced was easy to understand, efficient and lightly reminded people that they
were on board a Eurostar service.
What inspired the Pictograms & Signage design?
We created an entire set of pictograms and symbols that both conformed to European safety standards, and
were ground breaking in the way they connected the sculptural twisting forms of the brands sculpture to the
‘We wanted to create pictograms with enough detail they were interesting at large sizes and held the
sculptural form present in the sculpture, but that also worked well at a glance (and conformed to
international safety standards) —it was quite a tall order, but I think the ambition has paid off’
Is there anything else that makes them different?
SomeOne also designed functionality into the pictograms that makes them more useful to the customer — for
example, where possible they can animate or simply change colour... colour change systems will indicate if a
facility is vacant or engaged.
While these pictograms and symbols are going to be used primarily on board they are also going to be
applied online where the brand needed to signal actions in globally understood non-written format.
What do Eurostar think of it?
‘We asked for a new set of symbols that conformed to international safely standards, but that felt ‘Eurostar‘ —
we got so much more... it’s an entirely ownable visual language that extends from our core visual identity’
Reuben Arnold, Head of Commercial Development at Eurostar.
What are Carte Classique, Carte Blanche & Eurostar Plus?
For frequent travelers, Eurostar has its own loyalty schemes. Like air miles, for train travel — they reward
repeat usage by either giving preferential treatment (like access to Business Premier Lounges and Fast-Track
channels) or by giving discounts on travel.
What was the problem?
Carte Classique was the unsung entry level loyalty scheme that sat under Carte Blanche which stood alone,
had a completely separate look and feel and bore no relation to the Eurostar brand. The collateral was
expensive to produce and communications were not clear about what members actually got in return for
joining the scheme.
Eurostar Plus was widely misunderstood and needed to be reconsidered. It was so multi-faceted it was
beginning to become fragmented before it had a chance to become established.
How did we design it?
Looked at the issues, simplified the complexities and using the adaptive sculpture, created three beautiful
versions for three interlined visual brand identities.
We gave Carte Classique its own sculpture in a unique material. Blue Marble.
We gave Carte Blanche its own sculpture in a related material. White Marble.
Each of these is united by a common material and differentiated by colour, imagery and tone of voice.
This way each scheme felt different, told its own unique story and was flexible enough to take on new ones.
Most of all they felt united and firmly from Eurostar.
Eurostar Plus was a different offer. The idea we discovered behind Plus is that it can constantly surprise you
with tasty little treats. It’s a holder for new ideas — like an egg — the scheme lets you hatch all sorts of clever
little ideas to either treat your friends and family to a trip somewhere or just discover something new. So we
chose to make a one off. The adaptive sculpture was made from an egg shell — there’s even a little feather
that softly indicates clever little savings.
What do Eurostar think of it?
‘Loyalty schemes often use the same clichés — gold, silver & black — we were thrilled to see SomeOne
creating something logical yet lateral with the materials and ideas they chose to apply to our Carte Classique,
Carte Blanche & Eurostar Plus — it’s given each of the schemes its own opinion, its own look and further
differentiated us as an original voice in travel.’
Elodie Delalleau, Project Manager, Brand & Design at Eurostar
Classes of service
What are classes of service?
Eurostar has three levels of service. Standard, Standard Premier, & Business Premier. The new names and
branding for each of the services was created by SomeOne.
Each experience is very different, yet each service is very Eurostar. So it made sense for the new visual brand
identity and Brand World to be applied across the three tiers, but so they remained easily differentiated for
ease of use, each was given its own visual identity principles, colours, tone of voice and imagery.
What was the problem?
Eurostar had three different services when you booked a ticket.
You could travel ‘Business Premier‘ — which meant you could use the lounge, travel in the Business Premier
class carriage (the best carriages) and get great food & drink onboard, at your seat, for one price. You could
even check-in super quick which meant even less waiting time. The thing is, everyone just called it ‘First
You could get the regular service from what was called ‘Standard Class‘ — Here you got great value travel and
is the core of the Eurostar brand.
Then there was the ‘other one’ that was called Leisure Select. No one really understood what it was, how it
differed from Standard, or ‘First‘ — but it was actually brilliant. You go to travel in the front section of the
train, get good food on board to your set and receive a considerably better experience than traveling in
The problem was the offer wasn’t clear. The naming was confusing. There were three totally different visual
brand identities that didn’t connect. Signage was confusing and often led to those with Leisure Select tickets
trying to get through the fast track check-in or booking desks when in fact the tickets were only valid to go
through regular channels.
This confusion often led to disappointing customer experiences and made it hard for people to make the right
choice when it came to buying tickets. It also made it very hard for the staff at Eurostar to describe the three
offers and therefore tough to sell.
How did we crack it?
New Nomenclature: We simplified things by just describing each class...
Then using the adaptive sculpture, created three beautiful versions.
One from brushed Steel.
One from bushed steel, placed next to gold.
One from gold.
We then created specific photographic treatments for each tier.
This way each tier felt different, told its own unique story and was flexible enough to take on new ones. Most
of all they felt united and firmly from Eurostar.
What do Eurostar think of it?
‘You would be hard pressed to find someone who could really describe what the three classes of service
offered a year ago. Things had become confusing and we were not doing our offer justice with the branding.
Now we have three clear points of view that elegantly connect to the Eurostar vision of travel. We’re delighted
with the results.’
Jean-Marc Barbaud, Brand & Design Manager at Eurostar