The Federal Government of the UAE invested heavily in a strategic infrastructure project that would transform the nation - the development of a rail network.
We partnered with the Emirati government to create a brand that would symbolise the drive and aspirations of a nation in its race towards modernity. This was a big project that needed a big idea. We realised that across centuries and continents, the coming of the railway has symbolised a country’s ascent into the modern age. With this in mind, we benchmarked established rail operators in leading industrial nations.
Etihad Rail was to redefine the UAE. It would tie together the seven emirates as a single nation, make land available for new cities and communities and create a major new trade route across the region. For the Emiratis, it would deliver progress both in economic growth and national unity, which together formed the basis of our core brand idea: ‘Weaving prosperity for the nation’. From the big idea, Brash created a streamlined brand identity with a sense of speed and progress. This expressed a sense of nationhood by drawing on the key symbols of the UAE: the red, green and black of the flag, and the Peregrine Falcon. We looked to the future to ensure this identity was fit for purpose, exploring how it will perform across key touch points including trains, stations and uniforms.
Since its brand reveal and the launch of its first freight services in 2014, Etihad Rail now has a consistent and recognisable public face, enabling it to build partnerships and secure the major funding necessary to realise its ambitions. It became a clear symbol of progression becoming a reality for the Emirati.