Tallinn Transport is a service managed by Tallinn Transport Department to organise and promote public transportation. The service itself is not new, but its identity has been redesigned and launched to the public in 2012 by Disainiosakond LLC.
The project of redesigning Tallinn Transport’s identity started in 2009 and evolved from an international accessibility project called Cities for All — Tallinn for All. There was no previous experience of design usage or management in the Tallinn Transport Department. Nevertheless, the goal of Disainiosakond was ambitious — to drastically change the user experience, image and communication of Tallinn public transportation, following the lead of European cities with tens of years of experience (London, Zurich, Stockholm, etc.). The mission was to make a similar impact in a very short period of time.
Due to the lack of resources there was a need to work with the existing transport infrastructure. The project was concerned with systematisation, unification, information noise reduction and standardisation, altogether creating a more user friendly and more accessible service environment.
A comprehensive Tallinn Transport Design Standard was drafted, giving guidelines on how to communicate PT information (use of color, type, layout and user-friendly language). To create a more accessible service environment, the Tallinn Transport Department followed the concept of “universal design”, where the products are designed to be aesthetic and user friendly to all persons, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.
In 2012 the Tallinn Transport project won the Design Management Europe Award 2012. The award recognises successful design management strategies and also demonstrates the commercial and social benefits to be gained from good design management practices.
The typeface family used for maps and signage is PF Highway Sans Pro. It is sans-serif, optimized for signage and legible from distance, and is based on the standard typeface for highway signs in the USA. The family spans a wide variety of weights. The letters have cut angles and open counters for increased legibility and short and compact extenders (there are many in Estonian language). The character sets support Estonian (incl. ÕÄÖÜ) and Cyrillic.
For the timetables, Disainiosakond specified PF Din Text Pro, another sans serif based on the standard type of lettering for road signage in Germany. It is timeless, legible, narrow and compact, has a vast array of weights, monospace numbers, and support for Estonian and Cyrillic.
Contributed by Alexander Fjelldal