Following SNCF’s acquisition of the Orient Express brand, the Accor group joined in the effort to revitalise the brand, with the aim of making it one of the jewels of the luxury hotel industry by 2030.
The Wcie brand agency came to us with clear idea in mind - create a bespoke type family of four fonts based on lettering from probably the most iconic train of all times - The Orient Expres and the fonts - Oriented West, Oriented North, Oriented East and of course Oriented South.
Studio Apeloig, the designer of the Orient Express logotype, was inspired by the iconic Pullman car bull’s eye window – emblematic of the golden age of luxury train travel – when conceiving the monogram By reinterpreting this motif, it was possible to construct the two letters O and E – the Orient Express initials that evoke the East and West cardinal points. The stylised design of these architectural elements forms the basis for the entire type template.
The idea was to have two high contrast type designs based on the logo plus a sans and a slab serif typefaces based on the actual train lettering. The latter proofed to be rather difficult as we didn't have access to a lot of materials, neither we had a lot of time to find some, so we had to work with what we had - few original positioning templeates and whatever we find in the web which wasn't much.
Working on a project with such detailed and specific brief was new and surprisingly easy! With the amount of details we have it didn't take us long to come up with the initial design concepts and start refining them.