Great post here from Daniel Wright about post-privatisation visual identities and branding.
When British Rail was privatised in 1994, no-one knew quite what to expect, not in terms of the way the new railway would operate, nor what it would feel like to use, nor even what it would look like. The story of the visual identity of the newly privatised British railway network turned out to be the story of that very same confusion.
The railways of Britain were privatised on 1 April 1994. As ever with the privatised railway, any simple statement like that one covers a much more complicated underlying meaning. In fact, most of the railway remained in public ownership, but a new structure was put in place with the intention that the elements within it would be sold off over the next few years, as indeed they were. Infrastructure owner Railtrack was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1996, while the 25 passenger train operating units…
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