Good design, good journey Part 1
Peter Hirt and Janne Igls Andersen’s 1985 logo for Hovedstadsområdets Trafikselskab
The story of the “Capital Region's Traffic Company”, Hovedstadsområdets Trafikselskab (HT), begins in 1974, with the takeover of 12 publicly owned (or majority owned) bus companies. Beginning operations on the 1st October that year, it would be Denmark’s first regional transport company and responsible for public buses in Copenhagen’s Capital City area. Owing to the various manufacturers and age of the near 1000 bus fleet, HT set about standardising it with repaints.
Their 10-year anniversary was marked with growing pains, which were further exacerbated by several drivers’ strikes in early 1984 which had resulted in high-profile legal conflicts. Change was in order. An underlying belief for Hovedstadsområdets Trafikselskab (HT) was that good design would create a good travelling experience. “A bus with happy, well coordinated colours, with comfortable seats, and surfaces which are pleasant to touch, all contribute to making the journey an experience.” said Erik Davidsen, of the Greater Copenhagen Traffic Board.
A new design program was planned and, like any corporate identity, a new trademark would be essential. “The purpose of any trademark is to serve as a visual symbol for the enterprise it represents, in clear and simple terms,” Finn Torjussen, Managing Director of HT, explained. “This basic demand, we felt, was not met by our present trademark.” The original logo, introduced with HT’s formation in 1974, was a pentagon enclosing the letters ‘HT’. Despite the five-sided shape clearly representing the five district regions covered by the service, the logo’s design was seen as old-fashioned and out-of-date.
Continue reading to discover the criteria put forward to guide the public competition for the design of the new HT logo, see the runner up and winning design, and how this was developed and applied.