NMBS: The S-train becomes a brand
In December 2015, the NMBS launched its S-train. To publicise this suburban train around Brussels, with new connections and services, the NMBS decided to rely on Think BBDO’s branding expertise.
The S-train firstly needed to be positioned within the existing Gewestelijke Expresnet (GEN) or Regional Express Net. Think BBDO and NMBS developed the current graphic identity and logo together.
The S-logo had to be more than just a logo. It was intended to become a landmark, indicating where passengers could find the S-trains. The logo had to be clear, impactful and recognisable in timetables, as well as in and around the stations and trains.
BBDO succeeded in this with this design. The double NMBS-blue S against a round, ochre-coloured background was very clear, and was easily recognised. The press was also very positive about the logo after its launch, citing its strong identity.
The name S is already used in other countries for similar services. The design of the S logo made it easier to discover and find the service. Moreover, the design is simple and easy to read as well as impactful, providing important leverage to get the information to passengers.