We have created the new National Taxi Vehicle Branding system for the National Transport Authority (NTA). Since 1st January 2013 all taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis in Ireland are required to have specified branding fitted. It will be an offence to operate a taxi or wheelchair accessible taxi without the correct door signage in place after its next licensing transaction.
“Action 31 of the Taxi Regulation Review Report published by the Government in January 2012 requires the installation of semi-permanent signage on the doors of taxis and wheelchair accessible taxis.”
The NTA was tasked with the development, rollout and ongoing operation of the apparatus needed to support the mandated nationwide branding system. Following a successful tender, we were engaged to explore potential designs and propose the optimal branding solution.
The objectives and branding criteria
These were the three most important design-related objectives. Firstly, to create a recognisable branding device that makes all licensed taxis more recognisable for customers. The branding device needed to be equally as visible and legible on both light and dark coloured vehicles. The design needed to be consistently applicable onto all of the various sizes and types of vehicles in use as taxis in Ireland.
There were also a set of operational objectives which were equally important. The branding needed to be cost-efficient to produce, as the drivers would be paying for its installation. So, for example, we could not propose a design based on a full-vehicle wrap as this would have an adverse economic effect on these small businesses.
Our proposed design needed to be robust, as many separate suppliers around the country would be producing and applying the decals. An overly complex design would therefore invite inconsistency in appearance and application nationwide.
Finally, the branding decals needed to incorporate each vehicle’s unique identification number. So our design needed to accommodate this requirement in the most visually appropriate and operational effective manner.
Where we added value
Given our in-depth understanding of the competing variables within the design criteria, we were able to conduct an exhaustive design exploration on an accelerated timeline.
The key to success was ensuring that designs would meet all of the objectives. So we practiced a rapid prototyping methodology, always moving back and forth from concept sketches to actual size mockups.
Our analytical and logical design methodology meant that we were rapidly able to define the set of design patterns that conformed to all of the set objectives and criteria.
Then we used our skills in crafting narrative presentations to produce the assets necessary to explain our design thinking and recommendations. We provided staged presentations for consideration and approval by the NTA and the regulatory committees and advisory groups.
Benefits and deliverables
We prepared a suite of master digital artwork files to ensure that all Authorised Suppliers can reproduce the taxi vehicle branding accurately and consistently. We wrote concise yet comprehensive guidance documentation to ensure Authorised Suppliers have all the information they need to ensure an efficient national rollout throughout 2013.