Friday, October 1, 2010


Next week, Eric and I are going back to Florida to claim our boat Clementine. This time, however, there's no road trip for us. We're traveling by rail with comfy seats, a dining car, and free movies.

While making reservations, I noticed Amtrak's logo. Research tells me it was designed by Brent Oppenheimer and introduced as part of Amtrak's promise to improve customer service and overall performance in the year 2000.

With every brand, however, there's a history and this is what Amtrak's logo looked like in 1971 when the government-owned corporation was created by an Act of Congress to unify the nation's railways.

Called the chevron or the "inverted arrow" by some, it was also called the "pointless arrow" by others. The individual parts lack cohesiveness and the proclaimed patriotic colors are lost. There are many variations out there on the Web, some with the name on top and some with the name on left ... and many different designs on trains.

While it is said that an organization's logo should reflect its personality, this earlier version can be determined an accurate representation of Amtrak. It was used during a time when many different rail systems were struggling to come together as one entity.

Today, Amtrak has an online corporate identity page listing its Pantone color as 302 blue and acceptable alternatives as 1375 orange, 306 light blue, and 389 green. Their typeface is Frutiger. And, more recently, Arnold Worldwide, a creative agency right here in Arlington, VA, presented a coordinated ad campaign using the tagline, "Enjoy the journey." That's exactly what we hope to do.

1 comment:

Hariklia said...

Not much continuity between the logos, is there? Often when companies modernize their look, they go for the same colours or same typeface. This says, we're breaking from the past.
On another note: I love rail travel. It's so much more relaxing than driving.
Have a good trip!