Re-defining Brand Ecosystem of BMTC buses

Nature inspired new graphical identity

Bangalore is multicultural and multilingual, always vibrating and pulsating with life. It has pockets of modernity and tradition, affluence and poverty, literacy and ill-literacy, a very colorful history and a promising future.
So when it comes to Bangalore’s lifeline, BMTC buses, the major concern for commuters was how to identify the nature of service of moving buses from a distance or at night? Especially when one doesn’t know how to read English / Kannada or when in peak hours due to huge crowd even the bus numbers are not visible from a distance.
The situation was escalating as a giant communication challenge for BMTC and there was a need to develop an intuitive visual identity based on colors / symbols, which can be easily recognized by one and all.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), the sole public bus transport provider for Bangalore which serves urban, sub-urban and rural areas, duly recognized commuter’s discomfort and approached Idiom Design & Consulting to create easily identifiable cohesive look for their buses.

Project intent:
To design a visual solution that brings effective brand architecture to all BMTC buses.

Background:
Founded in 1997, BMTC acts an agent for cultural synthesis and national integration. BMTC has approximately 15 types of buses, and a total of 6700 buses active within Bangalore, operated through 41 depots and 52 bus stations, transporting around 5.2 million people every day.
BMTC is committed to provide quality, safe, reliable, clean and affordable travel. In an effort to modernize its services for commuter comfort, BMTC strives to strengthen information systems and improve processes through introduction of intelligent technology solution, in the near future.

THE BRIEF
BMTC had multiple buses and series with different branding, in different colors and designs. Idiom was approached to create brand architecture for BMTC buses that can be easily identified by the passengers.

Hopping On:
At Idiom, our guiding thought was how can we increase range of BMTC’s customer base and make it the preferred mode of transport? Also how can we make BMTC the pride of Bangalore and eventually Karnataka?

Process:
Idiom believes that public transport can add real value to the city by being better integrated within its wider context. A better public image attracts riders, leading to higher revenues and greater demand for transit services. The greater demand, in turn increases the budget for improvements and expansion, making public transport even more attractive.

So, we started our journey by studying some global benchmarks in public transport and taking inspirations from their brand thoughts, operational characteristics, technology integration, and branding & communication exercises esp. from VIVA BRT York region, Canada and SEOUL public bus system, South Korea. We got to learn the benefits of a simplified system of service unified under one brand thought, which can make the brand look more user-friendly, appealing and approachable. We also got to discover the benefits of effectively educating and communicating the public about the change; before, during and after; which helps people warm-up, understand and appreciate the system, hence boost usage.

Further in our journey, we tried to understand the problems/ opportunities in the current system by understanding existing bus routes, operational system, and all consumer touch points. Consumer journey maps: waiting, identifying, boarding, seating and de-boarding; were identified and decoded. The whole idea was to ensure that the customer needs are met and effectively communicated, before and during the journey.

Idiom used design to create a solution and simplified the multiple fleets (approx. 15 types) of BMTC to 3 major color-coded bus systems, which are easily comprehendible.

The design inspiration came from nature and the city ‘Bangalore’ which is known as ‘City of Lakes’ and ‘Garden City of India’. However when in 2015 Bangalore was named as the 2nd most polluted city in India (air pollution), it gave us a reason to reflect.

At Idiom, we tried to give the greenery back to the city. We also tried to encapsulate the intelligence, spirit of growth, harmony, freshness and success of the city Bangalore.

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By categorizing and identifying buses based on their broad features, benefits and uses; names, explaining the purpose / nature of service of the buses have been suggested and implemented.

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The grouped and identified colors with the corresponding services provided are identified as:

  1. “Green Series – for Ordinary, Big Trunk and Big Circle services” – Ordinary Fare
  2. “Orange Series – for Feeder services ” – Ordinary Fare
  3. “Blue Series – for Vajra and Vayu Vajra services” –A.C. Fare

The design elements have been inspired by nature and the routes taken by the buses:

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Harmonization details have been coded and many consumer relevant applications / technological features have been suggested, e.g.: printing all the window bus ads on one way vinyls to allow people inside to see the bus stops, intercom, categorization and standardization of seats across buses, highlighting safety instructions in Kannada & English, marking de-boarding stops, enhancing bus color visibility at night by using category color specific LED and reflector strip of same color.

Where are we now?

New graphical identities of BMTC buses were soft launched on Feb., 2015 at Freedom Park, Bangalore. The full-fledged launch is in process.

Using user-centric design methodology, Idiom has tried to address commuter’s pain points and enhance user safety, comfort and experience. We are looking forward for your feedback. The buses are in your court!!!

Client’s perspective:

Resp. Dr. Ekroop Caur, IAS, Managing Director- BMTC, explaining the role of design in BMTC brand architecture project:

“Service brands need to create imagery around them. Before this branding exercise, BMTC had multiple buses and series with different branding, in different colors and designs. We wanted to simplify the bus system, making it more user-friendly, appealing and approachable.

 By categorizing and identifying buses based on their broad features, benefits and routes, Idiom design and consulting has created a very strong and cohesive visual architecture for BMTC buses by simplifying the multiple fleets into 3 major categories. They have created a color-coded bus system, which is easily identifiable by the commuters, even from a distance or at night. This was very important for us that from distance commuters should be able to identify the nature of service of moving bus.

We are hoping that brand-led design thinking from Idiom will help BMTC to create a very positive and strong imagery among the commuters making it the preferred mode of transport, among plethora of choices available with other public/ private transport options.”

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We are looking around. Are you?

Idiom was established in Bangalore in 2005. To seamlessly integrate the various disciplines of design with business and life creating meaning, value and impact. We are a design house that means business, as we take ideas from mind to market with tremendous skill, speed and imagination.

We set out on this decade long journey to find and define the Indian idiom of design. We are informed by culture, developing game changing ideas as businesses, systems, brands and experiences.

Idiom has been recognized as a global gamechanger and we love being challenged by complex problems as we work closely with / develop enduring relationships with; entrepreneurs, mavericks and visionary leaders.

At Idiom, we believe that every day is a fresh new day that throws up new opportunities, new things to do and learn. We are looking around for talented folks who are deeply rooted, endlessly optimistic, willing to roll up their sleeves to change the world by design.

Design Director, Products and Services
Should have more than 8 years of experience. Good thinking, amazing knowledge and impressive skills are a must have. Along with the ability to move products from idea to market at a real world pace, with knowledge of processes, materials and technologies. Should have worked previously as a leader in a product team or as an integral part of an interdisciplinary team. Should be pro-active, self-sufficient with strong organizational, time management and communication skills. As there will be a great deal of project planning and administration of strategic design projects, leading projects and providing inspiring direction to other designers will be highly valued.

Within Idiom, we expect a design director to be an independent, resilient and thorough professional who adds a lot of value to the organization, her/his team and of course the projects. With the ability to * understand end user needs, conducting qualitative research, * interpreting client needs and effectively communicating a fresh perspective. * partnering with client teams, leading co-creation sessions to generate design solutions as products and/or services. * articulating, detailing and sharing design concepts with conviction.

Externally, we expect the aspirant to evangelise and publish, to contribute to client acquisition, to global conversations in the field and create our portfolio.

Director / Design Technology
Develop the technical strategy on integrative projects. Guide the development and delivery of seamless experiences. Design Director / Design Technology Services would need to have more than 8 years of experience. Should be capable of integrating media, software and technology, resulting in the development of great design solutions. Should be able to lead a multi-disciplinary team of designers and constantly inspire them toward achieving the best design solutions.

Externally, the aspirant must guide clients on emerging technologies, challenges and opportunities. Creating robust experiences and solutions that are elegant and great on time and budget.

Internally, the DDT must have hands on knowledge of coding and development, with a great depth of experience in problem solving. A knowledge and interest in design and media along with a drive to demonstrate that technology can power communication, by design is essential.

Principal Designer / Branding
Should have 10+ years of experience on powerful and large branding projects. With a curiosity for new stories and a penchant for great strategy translated into compelling stories. The aspirant must have a keen interest in business, culture, symbols and their meaning. A great understanding of both form and meaning and the ability to translate an idea imaginatively across many mediums.

Externally, the aspirant will have to be someone who’s curious, a good listener, someone who absorbs and filters well, who cares deeply about culture and is invested in research and study. Will need to have deep engagement with the subject of the project with the client team and build confidence. The aspirant must also shape our portfolio to include pathbreaking and large global projects.

Internally, the aspirant must systematically construct the strategy and and development, with a great depth of experience in problem solving. A knowledge and interest in design and media along with a drive to demonstrate that technology can power communication, by design is essential.

Please do keep in mind that, at Idiom, we develop brands almost like systems and software, updating them from time to time, remaining brand custodians, in most instances for life. We modify the packaging of our brands, refreshing them, keeping them progressive always, while keeping the soul intact.

Designers / Brand & Communication
Applicants should have 2 to 4 years of experience of working on a range of brands and in other areas of communication design. Should be capable of handling projects independently. From thought to implementation with studio and skill support. High level of skill with graphic tools, an eye for detail and good visual expression / modeling abilities are a must. Will be required to handle projects individually and also work on teams with other designers.

Should have good training and rigour behind them, a unique style or skill would be an asset.

The applicant will have the best of projects, be able to plan their pace and be given the guidance and the independence to create benchmark work that has lasting impact. And the opportunity to share their work on global platforms.

Designers / Interaction
Applicants should have 2 to 4 years of relevant experience and exceptional talent. Should have thorough knowledge of user interface design process and methodology, proficiency with prototyping tools, good communication skills, a passion for creating products that resonate emotionally with people. Should be capable of independent handling of projects and also contribute as a member in project teams. Should be able to plan and simplify complex interactions and understand various platforms.

Most importantly, must live and breathe technology and design. Our relationships with our clients ensure that we get very open and expansive briefs and we like those folks in the team who are excited by just such an opportunity.

Designers/ Experience Design
Applicants should have 2 to 4 years of work experience on practical integrative projects. Where graphics and space come together. Where not spaces, but memorable experiences are designed for real people in a world where the online world is more immersive than the real one. While training is required, in a specific field like interiors or graphics, the design of integrative experiences is the end goal.

Applicants should have strong interests and capabilities in the design and development of engaging user experience and a thorough understanding of contemporary user-centered design methodologies. Should be capable of thinking holistically and giving creative solutions for user experience. Experience in designing spaces: retail, offices, exhibitions museums, etc. Capability to lead a project and work with an interdisciplinary team of designers is a must.

While you will learn a tonne of stuff at Idiom and the learning and growth opportunities are tremendous, join us only if you think that you could teach us a thing or two and want to add muscle to your portfolio and ours.

You’ll earn, learn, grow and be challenged afresh every day. You will get to think and work and find your own spot, under our rain tree. You will create tomorrow’s most exciting businesses, brands, experiences and more.

If that’s what you are looking for

· Attach your resume, a link to your portfolio and send a mail asap, including the designation in your subject line. We will set up a call for you with someone relevant within the week.
· Write a cover letter that convinces us that you have good reason to join and we have no choice but to hire you (no more than 200 words please)
· Sharing atleast one complete project end to end to demonstrate process and outcome would be a great idea.

See you around!
iwant2work@idiom.co.in

Pana – Revolutionizing Education

Changing the Future of Education

Pana Education is here to change the way the education system is perceived. Pana hopes to revolutionize education, in a way that will eventually change the way India learns and grows.

At Pana, students will be at the center and education will revolve around them. Pana hopes to redefine the stereotypical norms and encourage a more liberal and experiential approach to learning and teaching, while evolving young minds into young adults.

Pana emphasizes on character formation through education and aspires to transcend the learning gained into wisdom, which will help make a successful visionary out of every student and empower them to Be The Change.

Life at Pana

Pana is a vibrant, world-class educational institution. The campus life at Pana is committed to providing more than an academic experience for students and staff.

Located in a serene area, Pana is an exciting place to be, as one can cheer on sport competitions as loud as they want. With beautiful aesthetics that are stimulating and unlike any you’ll find elsewhere, Pana strives to cultivate a fun and healthy university environment by encouraging a balance between academic and non-academic life.

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Brand Thought

Idiom played a role in creating the new identity and brand experience for Pana Education.

Pana means transcendental wisdom in the language of Pali, and is an insight into the true nature of reality. Wisdom is that which directs knowledge toward good and the creation of value.

The thought behind the Pana logo is inspired by the three stages of human evolution and change – Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood. The symbol embodies – transfer, transform which will eventually lead to transcendence.

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Change.Edu

Idiom created a unique launch campaign for Pana Education. The theme of the campaign was ‘Change.Edu’, which was inspired by technology that is constantly developing and making our lives easier. Pana Education is a new age approach to learning that imbibes the consistency of positive growth and change from technology.

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HAPPY INDIA DAY

HAPPY INDIA DAY to All! Idiom coined the idea of ‘Happy India Day’ to transform our Nations Independence to a joyous and celebratory occasion. In collaboration with The School of India, a school that aims to teach its children to celebrate and be proud of Being Indian, we have recreated the National Anthem to highlight India’s modern, patriotic children.

CMR University

CMR University is a Creative University fostering an environment, a team and a curriculum that nurtures creativity. Creativity is the key competence required to navigate the complexity of our world and creative communities are where new ideas can be nurtured, new discoveries made and new creations shared with the world.IDIOM_blog_CMR1-01

Idiom played a role in creating the new identity and brand experience for CMR University. The CMRU logo is the Hamsa, believed to be the King of birds and the seat of Saraswati, Goddess of wisdom and learning. The Hamsa is a form of positive knowledge, taking a bold flight of creativity and imagination. Crafted using the science and beauty of the golden ratio; the logo forms a strong and innovative identity for a New Age University.

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Indian Idiom of Design

What can design do for India? For Indian enterprise, society, economy and the country? What can possibly be the design thinking and design strategies for creating lasting value, meaning and impact? Is there a distinct Indian idiom of design? Given eight years of a deep and wide interdisciplinary practice at Idiom, that has always started from human insights, to arrive at game changing ideas, implemented holistically, here are eight proposed ideas to think about and apply.

Indian Idiom of Design