Eurostar Group on fast track following rebrand
Following the integration of Eurostar and French-Belgian high-speed train operator Thalys in May 2022, global brand agency DesignStudio was tasked with creating a brand and design system for holding company Eurostar Group. Ahead of the two rail operators becoming a single brand by the end of the year, DesignStudio was tasked with creating a new logo, symbol, colour palette, photography, illustration and sonic branding.
With Eurostar and Thalys merging to create a single brand, DesignStudio’s mission was to create a modern brand which could reflect Eurostar Group’s vision of carrying 30 million passengers a year by 2030. However, the agency was also required to be respectful of the heritage brands.
This was partially achieved by retaining the Eurostar name. Perceived to hold powerful equity and global recognition, it remains embedded within the new brand.
The new brand symbol – a combination of the Eurostar ‘E’ and a star – forms a key part of Eurostar Group’s makeover. Known as ‘The Spark’, its iconic, flexible and dynamic nature allows it to break free from the symbol itself to be utilised across multiple touchpoints, from train livery to digital platforms.
Julien Queyrane, DesignStudio creative director, says, “A key part of the success of our partnership was to work closely with Eurostar and Thalys stakeholders to capture the essence of each brand’s near 30-year heritage, whilst evolving them into the future.
“This led to our brand idea and creative platform, Spark New, which symbolises how the new Eurostar Group brand is supercharged to spark new experiences, new ideas and new opportunities through high-speed train travel.”
The Spark’s capabilities include acting like a navigational compass to guide travellers around their city destination due to its wide range of motion behaviours such as rotating, extruding and dropping into locations.
David Moloney, DesignStudio design director, adds, “We wanted to bring back the sense of pride in the brand for employees and for customers who expect a premium travel experience. At the heart of the rebrand is a reimagined symbol that parts ways with the old metallic e ribbon, for a new north star and bold icon for the brand.”
Drawing on the diversity and vibrancy of Europe, the agency settled on a modernised version of the Eurostar and Thalys colours. The punchy blue and deep navy primary colours are supported by six secondary colours. Elsewhere, the typography includes hardworking and smooth sans serif font ABC social to support La Pontise. The headline typography aims to give a distinct and elegant feel to the brand while bringing warmth and impact with high contrast characters.
DesignStudio capped off its work with the creation of a new sonic identity in collaboration with London-based Zelig Sound.
Mario Rauter, Eurostar's group brand director, says, “This is a significant milestone in our history and the union of these two iconic businesses as a single brand is the result of a powerful collaboration between Eurostar, Thalys and DesignStudio.
“The new brand respects the heritage and embeds both Thalys and Eurostar’s essential DNA, but forges us together and pushes us forward for a bold reimagining. The new brand and design system arms us for growth in both new and existing markets, driving reengagement with existing customers, and discovery by new travellers.”
The new Eurostar Group brand is set to launch by the end of 2023.