Saturday, 9 June 2018


It was only a few moments work but it's amazing what a difference one small transfer can make to the appearance of the WHHR van - it really sets it off.

It got me thinking a little about the old 'arrows of indecision' and how it really is quite a remarkable piece of functional art, and perhaps we are beginning to appreciate that again.

When I was young in the 70s and 80s it seemed to symbolise dire standards of service

But perhaps more than half a century after it first appeared there is a growing awareness that it is one of the most effective corporate logos which has ever been created.

Consider how there is still nothing else in this country that so instantly says train or railway.

I've recently been involved in rebranding a local sports club and the process of choosing a new logo gave me a new appreciation of the qualities of the old double arrow.

It is remarkably simple, bold and adaptable, and we've never come close to anything else on the railway that works so well again, it's closest rival perhaps being the Intercity swallow?

All the more remarkable is that it was created towards the end of the 1960's when it was replacing an ultra-traditional logo drawing on the heraldic tradition.

What a brave and far-sighted decision it was to go for that new look.

I think there's a lot of simplistic, idealistic and downright disingenuous nonsense talked by the 'Bring Back British Rail' campaigns sometimes, but we do need to give credit for many of the things that monolithic organisation got right, and did better than any of its successors have so far managed.

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