The Lyon cycle network Les Voies Lyonnaises unveils an “inclusive” identity
The identity of Greater Lyon’s new cycling system, Les Voies Lyonnaises, was revealed with a logo that speaks of the “fluidity” of transport.
The branding – which includes a logo, icons and signage – was designed by the Parisian studio Spintank in partnership with the industrial designers Yellow Window (based in Paris and Antwerp).
The cycling infrastructure will cover 250 km of expressways on 12 routes, connecting the suburbs to the city center.
Construction work begins in the fall of 2021 and the first phase of development is expected to be completed in 2026. By 2030, the network is expected to extend to 320 km.
An identity designed for hesitant cyclists and enthusiasts
According to Spintank’s senior consultant Julia Ternon and creative director Jonathan Mignot, the “positive, friendly and inclusive” identity should appeal to existing and potential cyclists in the region.
“One of the main goals was to illustrate and accept that there are so many different types of bikers – people who are very confident and ride a bike every day, people who want to do it but have a little scared “, explains Ternon.
The name plays on the double meaning of the French word route, which can mean both “voice” and “route”. “When you say the Lyonnaise ways, you say the voices of the Lyonnaises as well as the Lyonnaise ways”, says Ternon.
The team also hopes that it will be part of the daily conversation, used by its acronym VL.
The visual identity started with the logo, according to the team. “The objective was to illustrate the idea of fluidity when traveling in the city thanks to the Voies Lyonnaises”, specifies Ternon.
Mignot designed the logo. Due to the project’s extended construction time – it won’t be completed until 2030 – the designer had to create a “symbol that could last for many years,” he explains.
Simplicity was another key for Mignot. “I wanted to draw a sign that could be easily drawn by hand by everyone,” he says. He also hopes that it is a “sign of pride for the Lyonnais”.
While the shape looks like an infinity sign, Mignot explains that he didn’t have that in mind when developing it, instead focusing on “fluidity” and flexibility in meaning.
“We do not know if in ten or twelve years, there will not only be bicycles on the infrastructure but scooters or things that have not yet been invented”, specifies Mignot. In this way, the symbol will potentially have to take on meanings beyond a bicycle, meaning that it has been careful not to add many identifying details such as a pedal or a cyclist.
There is also a reference to the letter ‘l’ (for Lyon) hidden in the drawing. The lines of the logo served as the basis for the rest of the identity, where the curves appear in posters, maps and illustrations.
Typography and choice of colors
Baton Turbo, from the Fatype Foundry, was chosen as the font because it was “inspired by French vernacular characters,” according to Mignot. “We thought it would be cool to have some sort of story in the typography,” he says, adding that the typeface is also clear when used for signage.
While green was used as a primary color in part for its connection to the environment, it also represents hope, according to Mignot. “It is a new hope for the city, a new hope for the people who will have the choice to move,” he adds.
There is also a secondary color palette, consisting of pinks, purples and blues, which seeks to reinforce an idea of inclusiveness, says Mignot. “They were chosen to be apolitical – they represent all kinds of people’s views,” he adds.
For the launch, Spintank designed map icons that showcase points of interest along the first line to build. It was an attempt to build excitement for the line, Ternon explains, highlighting not only the new routes, but also places to discover along the way, and how the movement could help support local commerce. , among other advantages.
Spintank has also designed city-wide displays that will explain the initiative while the system is being built. Yellow Window is responsible for the adaptation of the identity in the mapping and signage system, which will be completed in the future.
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