Between Plane and Train
Four European rail companies, SNCF, NS, SNCB and DB have united forces in creating the first international rail network: a high-speed line that connects Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne and Brussels. The train's most important competitors are the automobile and airplane. The train must therefore be able to measure up to both forms of transportation as to speed and luxury.
In order to clearly profile this service, a new brand was created. It had to have a strong and recognisable identity that bridges cultural and language barriers. For this purpose an extensive analysis was made of the rival transport possibilities and the ambience that would determine the concept.
The Thalys as an experience
As the brand was developed, a number of values came to the fore, which determined its profile. Travelling with this train is a real experience: speed, reliability, customer friendliness and comfort are central to this. These values were the starting point for the development of the name and the accompanying trademark.
The design of the trademark is inspired by the flowing movement of an object that cleaves the air on the way to its destination. In the design this movement is combined with a human form. The specially designed typeface of the logo again underlines the human aspect. The design of the train was made in collaboration with the former design department of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS Design. The latter is responsible for the interior and the pictograms in the coaches.