Visual communication for Moscow ground transport

• OverviewProcess
to create friendly information stickers for public transport.

By the request of Mosgortrans Art. Lebedev Studio created new stickers for Moscow’s ground transport. They have appeared in new ultramodern buses and trams.

What was the problem?

Regular information stickers are special stickers created to sign an anthem to bureaucracy.

First of all, they speak to the passenger as if instead of riding a tram they are at an audience with a governor: “Riding the tram, bus or trolleybus without paying the fare is forbidden!”, “Hold the rails to prevent injuries!”, “Rigorously obey traffic laws!”.

Secondly, they are ugly and incomprehensible. A regular set of stickers will have two schematic persons intertwined, a photo camera with no caption and, for some reason, an illustration of a door attached to a window. Each of them has an important meaning (“seats for passengers with children”, “CCTV recording in operation”, “emergency exit”) but guessing it correctly is next to impossible.

Many of the stickers are placed in unexpected places, for example under the ceiling. Noticing them requires substantial neck flexibility.

What did we do?

We accomplished a heroic deed: we made Moscow transport speak human language. Now the stickers are not treating each passenger as their personal enemy.

mgt stickers night 03
mgt stickers night 02

mgt stickers night 01

First, the pictures became friendly: the trams are smiling, parents with children look like real people and the forgotten suitcase has a sad face on it.

mgt stickers preview 3_1

Next we came up with kind stickers. They don’t scold passengers (fines for failing to pay the fare! for smoking! for dirty clothes! for taking pictures! for traveling with a cat! for unauthorized operation of the emergency door switch!), instead they are full of care and appreciation:

“Thank you for letting others board first”, “Thank you for giving up your seat”.

We also made the text simpler. The new stickers have short phrases that can actually be read to the end.

mgt stickers preview 3_2

The stickers attach to windows and are printed on special transparent tape (each strip has three messages). Initially we wanted to place lots of stickers of various shapes on interior walls and keep the windows clear but quickly realized that it only looks good on a mock-up. In real life the diversity of shapes and colors makes eyes twitch.

Tatra T3 tram
Mercedes Connect bus
Vityaz-M tram
The ceiling is too sloped to be used for placing any information
The space above windows is rarely available
The space under the windows is usually concealed by seats and passengers
The central platform has stickers for mothers and disabled people
The windows are always available
Iteriors of Tatra T3 tram, Mercedes Connect bus and the new Vityaz tram

The transparent film does not obscure the view and helps put all the information in one place. The text is applied in white paint that can be easily seen both during the day and at night.

mgt stickers day_and_night
In bright daylight it looks darker than the background
At night the stickers are illuminated by interior lights

Blocks of three stickers are also great because they make their application simpler. Each sticker should be at the right place. Ideally, employees in charge of stickers have to learn the huge “guidelines on applying information materials” but in reality they simply put the stickers anywhere where there’s space.

The new strips save time: they can be combined with each other and placed in various vehicles using a unified set of principles.

mgt stickers pay
Each strip has special marks for transport workers that make it easy to select the right sticker
mgt stickers exit
The emergency exit sticker is placed near the strip or on top of it. The size of the blocks was chosen so that a single sticker can completely cover a block that can be sacrificed (for example, on a narrow window)

The full text of the official rules for the use of ground transport is also printed on a strip.

mgt stickers rooles

Stickers with simplified rules are placed by the entrance.

mgt stickers fine
Graphic design  Public transport  Moscow  MDT  Environmental design  Construction companies  Government  Transport