Moving into the future

New logo for Busways

Busways logo before and after
Logo before and after

Busways is a large, privately-owned Australian bus company operating thousands of school and charter services throughout outer-metropolitan Sydney, the New South Wales Central Coast and the North Coast. The origins of Busways can be traced back to 1942, when Dick Rowe commenced a hire car service between suburbs in Western Sydney. His one-man operation has grown into a transportation company with more than 1,500 employees and 750 buses, servicing over 21 million passengers each year. Ownership of the company remains with the Rowe family.

Old Busways logo
Old logo

The old logo wasn’t bad to begin with. The typeface it used – Base 900 – had a unique visual quality imparted by the angular cuts on letters like b, u and a. I liked the incongruity of the two words, in weight and colour, as it created a bit of tension in the design. Speaking of colour, the use of orange was fair, and projected friendliness, optimism and even adventure.

The symbol was an awkward shape but it felt right when placed next to the type. With the context of the company name, I got the impression of a roadway or route (which looped under itself). Further, the angles of the outgoing lines, as well as the use of an italic variant of the typeface, lent a dynamic feel which seemed appropriate for a service that’s constantly moving people.

New Busways logo
New logo

The new logo introduces a B symbol that “represents journeys, connections and places“. The line and dot treatment is reminiscent of the routes and markers you might see on a bus network map, so I think it’s quite appropriate. I do feel that without the word Busways next to it for context, the symbol isn’t as obvious a B as it could be, due to the lack of the horizontal stroke that normally separates the two counters. But it’s still a nice visual shorthand for the company that looks great as a favicon and across social media.

The colour scheme observes the past and embraces the future by retaining the orange and pairing it with a turquoise that connotes care and dependability. Each colour plays off the intensity of the other, making for a dynamic and attractive look. At the same time, the colour scheme avoids being too visually fatiguing as it is balanced by a deep blue wordmark for the eyes to rest on.

The wordmark itself is fine too. It’s pleasing to see that the designer didn’t opt for an “ordinary” typeface like Gotham or Helvetica (or their alternatives), and instead chose a peculiar humanist sans for a unique edge.

Overall, the new logo is great. It’s bold, dynamic and energetic. It communicates quality and credibility, and feels progressive and future focused. I’m definitely on board.