British Rail Corporate Identity Manual

The new British Rail Corporate Identity Book
The iconic British Rail logo created by Gerry Barney
One of five pull out pages in the new British Rail Corporate Identity Manual
The new book showcases the individual sheets of the original 1965 British Rail Corporate Identity Manual


The first comprehensive book that celebrates British Rail’s brand identity in its entirety has finally been released and we are so pleased to be a part of it.

Created by graphic designer, Wallace Henning and recognised custodian of the manual, Nick Job, the duo have worked in agreement with the Department of Transport to create the new clothbound, foil-blocked hardback book.

Containing 300-pages and all four volumes of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual, which was originally issued in 1965, the book contains all information on the core brand elements of British Rail, including the symbol, logotype, lettering and colour palette.

Our Creative Director Michael C Place, who is a big fan of the British Rail identity, was asked by Wallace Henning, (freelance designer and curator of the new book) to write the foreword:

“Michael’s comments in Spin Reading List 2 first made me aware of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual. He sparked a real interest in the British Rail identity for me and so I started to look into the Manual. The only copy I could find at time was at the National Railway Museum in York. This made me think about how many designers may not get a chance to see and appreciate one of the most iconic graphic identities of the 20th century. The project has allowed me to work with so many different incredible people; all of their combined experience has culminated into one book. We have some really interesting people giving their opinions, including an interview with Gerry Barney, the designer of the British Rail’s double arrow symbol, and of course the foreword from Michael, which only felt right – he started this journey for me, and so I hope his foreword starts it for more readers in the future.”

Following the release we are giving three lucky people the chance to win a copy of the new book (shown above).

— To be in with a chance of winning, tell us about your favourite train journey.

— The best answer will win a copy of the British Manual book as well as a British Rail A2 poster. Two runners-up will win a copy of the book.

— All answers to be sent to: hello [at] studio [dot] build using ‘Build British Rail Manual Competition’ as your subject title.

— Send your answers to us by 5th December 2016 and we will announce the three winners on Tuesday 6th December 2016. All winning answers will be published on our website/social media feeds.

If you don’t manage to win our competition, you can also buy the book here.

About the book:
— 247x310mm clothbound, foil-blocked hardback
— 300 pages including 5 gatefold pages
— Stochastic litho print
— Foreword by Michael C Place, creative director and founder of Build
— Introduction by Tony Howard, former head of design at British Rail, now Managing Director of Transport Design Consultancy
— Essays from James Greenfield, creative director and founder of Koto, and Dr Paul Rennie, writer and context subject leader at Central Saint Martins
— An interview with Gerry Barney, designer of the British Rail double arrow symbol