The British Rail Brand Identity Manual Is Reborn

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British Rail Brand Identity 1

Reproducing iconic brand identity guidelines are all the rage it seems. After the hugely successful campaign to reissue the 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual, here comes a Kickstarter to resurrect the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual:

The symbol, created by Gerry Barney at Design Research Unit, has endured beyond its origins and has become a shorthand for Britain’s national rail network. Maintaining a strong and unified identity across a country’s railway, ferry and hovercraft network demanded a groundbreaking and extensive piece of graphic design. This book will celebrate British Rail’s identity in its entirety – not only its distinctive symbol.


The original manuals spanned four volumes, all utilising a MULT-O 23-ring binder system. Issued in July 1965, binder one contained information on the core brand elements such as the symbol, logotype, lettering and colour palette. Binder two, issued in November 1966, contained guidance on printed publicity. In 1970, binders three and four were introduced containing guidance on architecture and signposting, rolling stock, lineside equipment, road vehicles, ships, liner trains, uniforms and stationery.

See the campaign here, which at the time of writing had already smashed its target.

British Rail Brand Identity 8 British Rail Brand Identity 7 British Rail Brand Identity 6 British Rail Brand Identity 5 British Rail Brand Identity 4  British Rail Brand Identity 2

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