The SBB logotype and identity system is as hard as nails. The central vertical stroke of the logo anchors it and the arrows, left to right, create a modified Swiss flag within them. With Switzerland at the centre, the arrows infer travel inside and beyond the region. The symbol is symmetrical and centred, but ranged right in a rectangular horizontal holding box giving the impression of the white symbol having moved from left to right within it.
The logotype is used as part of a system of typography and information that is beautiful in its simplicity. The red is such a strong stand out colour that the logotype rarely needs to be made too large, and is used on appropriately neutral and dark backgrounds that give the symbol a jewel-like quality.
The Swiss need to produce information in three languages, and this is dealt with expertly. Clear, solid and authoritative, there’s a system in place here, a feeling of a power that’s in control of the situation: no need for smiling commuters or train drivers, this is the ultimate in functional reliability. On time and on the money, and never off the rails.