Development of a public transportation stop focued on branding
The goal of the project was to from an analysis of the district Gårda in Gothenburg, Sweden create their brand story. From that, design a public transportation stop that reflects that brand story as well as the public transportation provider in Gothenburg, Västtrafik.
Just as corporate branding today is extremely important for success in the globalized markets, place and area branding has recently emerged as a tool for promoting locations. This can have a number of benefits, ranging from purely financial gain from attracting tourists and companies, to providing a safer and more pleasant living environment. While branding can be much more complex for places than products or companies, their audience is often much larger and more heterogenous.
To be able to reflect Gårda and Västtrafik an analysis of their respective brand identities was conducted. The aim was to identify relevant explicit and implicit cues, and to present these in a way that supported the design development process. The analysis involved gathering information about the area and company respectively, and analyzing this information using methods relevant to branding. Additionally existing bus stop was analysed, in order to identify which features and requirements the new design should fulfill.
Brand Identity Analysis of Gårda
The main objective with the analysis phase of the area Gårda was to obtain the area's brand story i.e. what type of implicit and explicit cues there are as well as Gårda's essence. This was done through an investigation of Gårda's history and heritage, future plans and how its identity is perceived today.
The expressions and character of Gårda was summarized through a mood board.
The main stakeholders for the area Gårda that were found through interviews and questionnaires were concluded from a stakeholder analysis.
In order to get a better picture of the stakeholders opinion of Gårda the participants were asked to describe Gårda with three words. They were then summarized in a word cloud where larger words were mentioned more times.
In order to make it even more clear about what Gårda stands for the participants in the research phase were asked to fill out a semantic differential with different value words.
In order to find a starting point for the design proposal, various opportunities for Gårda were identified using a SWOT analysis.
Authentic Brand Story
To further illustrate Gårda's identity, an Authentic Brand Story was created. The story became a combination of Gårda's heritage, the residents (identified as consumers) and their struggle to preserve their way of living, in conflict with the politicians' wish to demolish the area.
To enable the transfer of the brand identity of Gårda into design cues in the final result it was condensed in three chosen value words for the area.
The approach in Gårda is encouraging as in allowing individuality and focusing on variation and innovation. Gårda is progressive as in pushing modern philosophical thoughts but at the same time keeping a old fashioned lifestyle. The area is vibrant with people from different backgrounds interacting with each other on a common ground with equal visions.
Brand Identity Analysis of Västtrafik
Västtrafik is the main public transportation company in the region Västra Götaland in Sweden. To understand their brand story, an analysis of the brand was conducted.
From the analysis of the explicit values it can be concluded that the color theme is the most coherent feature in the contact points.
While no strong explicit visual identity could be identified, Västtrafik då have a number of values and strengths that should be reflected in the final design concept. These include their goals for sustainability, allowing access to as many people as possible, and that their services should be easy and reliable to use.
The final concept was decided to be a combined bus and boat stop. Mölndalsån, that runs through Gårda has historically been used for transportation there. To facilitate embarkation on the boats, the stop also includes a deck. The deck is also intended to encourage other activities than simply waiting, such as socializing or enjoying a meal or beverage in the sun. This encouragement of activities also help communicate Gårda's core values.
The concept is a modular system where any number of modules can be placed together, depending on the needs for any particular tram stop. The open, half-elliptic shape of the modules is intended to encourage usage of both sides.
Having a round shape rather than today's existing box shape also explicitly describes Gårda's core value of progressive. The glass sections consist of several square windows inspired by the factory windows that are common throughout Gårda. They are arranged in an irregular pattern, forming a dynamic curve along the shelter. This along with the saying shades of the wood gives the shelter a more vibrant expression. The materials also lend a progressive feeling.
The information screens are placed and shaped to support visibility from longer distance and wide angles. The intent of that a traveller should not need to enter the shelter in order to find information about the bus. The graphical elements are derived from Västtrafiks graphical profile in order to clearly show that the shelter is part of the public transportation system.
In collaboration with Erik Dellborg, Fredrick Ekman and Ida Dahlin
Course: Visual Brand Identity and Product Design, Chalmers University of Technology
Focus areas: Brand Identity, Place branding, User experience, Design for all
Duration: 8 weeks, half time
Programs used: Illustrator, Alias AutoCAD