New communication language for Moscow Transport

Task: to develop a new style for Moscow Transport.

Moscow Transport comprises the Metro, buses, trolleybuses, trams, carsharing, scooters, parking lots and everything else that helps passengers get to the right place at the right time. It is a huge system used by millions of people every day who need to be communicated with, who need to be warned, educated, advised and informed on changes and improvements.

To make this communication clearer for passengers and more convenient for the Department of Transport, we have developed a new communication system that includes a visual style, message templates and an editorial policy.

Understanding on the go

Passengers are already accustomed to the colored stripe used on all Moscow Transport announcements. Previously, the stripe had a fixed size and showed only the logo. In the new system the side stripe became dynamic, changing its size depending on the task. Noticing important announcements has become easier for passengers, while the space on posters and stickers is being used more rationally.

1. Transport information: red background highlights what’s most important

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2. Advertising and image messages: bright graphics and clear images. Side stripe and recognizable layouts

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3. Socially significant information: branded illustrations

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Marker icons have a recognizable shape to make it easier for passengers to distinguish an important warning from helpful advice or formal rules. Each icon is unique, making them easy to tell apart from a distance.

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Useful information
Innovation or advertising
Online service
Ticket information
Socially important
Government agency
Fares and payment

Now passengers can recognize important messages even as they rush to their train.

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Updated logos

Fourteen branches of the Moscow Transport have logos united by a common element, a stylized map marker.

Inside each marker is a symbol that is historically “tied” to its branch and which cannot be changed.

The old version

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To modernize the logos without introducing global changes to the traditional symbols, we revised the layout of their elements and updated the typefaces. This made the logos more balanced and gave them a fresh modern look.

The new version

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All branches acquired new logos.

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The contact information block that always accompanies branch logos became lighter. Important information is now more visible on different media, has a modern design and unobtrusive presentation.

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Before. An overloaded block of heterogenous information

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After. Carefully laid out useful details

The contact block can be easily adjusted to the desired format, regardless of the amount of information.

In the spirit of Moscow

Announcements don’t live only in buses and Metro stations: flexibility of the graphics allows to place them in various urban situations.

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The new style can be used flexibly and unobtrusively, ensuring that even repeated messages continue to evoke interest.

Timely notifications

The new yellow color was introduced for emergency situations. It stands out among other announcements and helps not to miss important changes.

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To help transportation employees produce announcements faster, they are assembled in a modular fashion from pre-built blocks. No more wasting time on adapting a layout for different media.

Clearly and friendly

Rules must be posted on public transport explaining, for example, how to behave in case of emergency or how to transport luggage. Previously, the rules were formal and boring to read, even though they covered important things. In the new system they are written in a simple and friendly language, with illustrations that make them easy to understand even without reading. A recognizable drawing style was developed for such posters making them interesting to look at and fitting well with other Moscow Transport logos and icons.

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Regular characters help passengers understand the instructions or tell them how to behave.

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Friendly and modern language

All messages are now clear and concise. A special editorial policy was created for transportation employees to help them communicate in an easy to understand language without bureaucratic jargon.

For the first time in the history of Moscow Transport, communication is built around a useful action for the passengers. Now each poster, announcement and message have a service function: they do something useful for passengers. Instead of prohibiting, they explain how to solve a problem. Technical and formal terms such as “increased passenger flow” or “motorized vehicle” are no longer used.

When presented in large volumes, the information is clearly structured. Now even the most formal documents are interesting to read.

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Trial implementation and tests

Tests conducted during the development of the new communication language included comparing the old and new announcements at Metro stations, in surface transport and on Moscow streets during travel restrictions. A total of one thousand two hundred people were surveyed and interviewed during the tests. Important hypotheses were tested in practice and the materials were improved based on the study results.

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Almost three times more respondents choose the new style

Color coding makes messages clearer, information becomes more concise and noticeable.

The new system leads on key parameters

Most people recognize the new messages as more visible and understandable, noting the ease of use of diagrams, maps and icons

What’s next

The new visual style is designed in a way that will allow it to evolve freely in the future, manifesting itself in increasingly unusual formats and materials. Need to create a non-standard medium? That’s easy. Need to design a new transport object? No problem.

The created rules and practices will allow the style to always remain relevant and adapt to any layout, all while maintaining its recognizable character.

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Moscow Transport. Moving forward

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