Two Exciting Announcements

by Malin Schibler, posted 15 September 2015 | One comment

When our founders Jean-Daniel, Martin and Valentin first launched Capitaine Train, no one could have told them that they were creating the biggest train ticket booking system in Europe.

They had only aimed to create a small reservation system; one which would allow them to quickly book their tickets and provide them with the functionality that other systems lacked. They wanted simplicity and speed. Booking a ticket shouldn’t be harder than sitting in your train seat, watching the landscape pass by. It shouldn’t take any longer than getting on board a train either. So they coupled this with their high standards and got to work. They used only the most robust technologies and hired only the best (?). Both they and soon we had our work tested and tested and re-tested by our peers. Mediocracy wasn’t an option. And just like a new train on a rusty and ancient track, the wheels slowly but surely got moving.

The small efforts started to pay off. We, Capitaine Train, were establishing ourselves as a company that was growing by gradually changing the European rail industry.

We were the first to combine the offers and rates of multiple rail operators so we could offer our customers the best possible prices. We were the first to issue iOS Passbook tickets, to sell SNCF bike reservations and allow you to lock in your prices and seats by pre-booking your tickets. We were the first to accept American Express and PayPal, and we took care of you with our love for customer service. We also publicised our map data and our station directory, because nothing would be possible without the raw data to which we had access from the beginning.

So today, almost five years after the signing of our contract with SNCF, we have two announcements to make.

1. THE ENGLISH WON! FRANCE DEFEATED!

Ha. We know some of you’d like an alternate ending to the Norman Conquest but that’s a topic for later.

We’ve come to realise that as an international brand, we need an international name to go with it. So we’ve pulled a Jason Bourne and gotten our hands on a new passport. You can say goodbye to the Capitaine and welcome the Captain! But train stays the same, because the love for them is universal <3

gif-renaming-captaintrain

So what happened? Well our original name was first used in and designed for France. Then we slowly began on our Napoleonic mission of European expansion, crossing the Rhine, the English Channel and the Alps. We solidified our international agreements with Deutsche Bahn, Eurostar, Thalys and Trenitalia, among others. Capitaine Train was launched throughout Europe.

Though we were quickly lost in translation with our newly found international friends. The Germans, Italians, British, Swiss, Spanish (and so on) had quite some difficulty with our name… It became clear that it would have trouble reaching anything outside of the French-speaking realm. So we did like all good things do and we got ourselves an English name!

We hope that this has made it easier for some of you to start pronouncing it.  We’re also glad that we no longer have to continously re-direct from trainline.eu

2. A new face

Our logo has evolved. It was beginning to get a little old and had lost most of its motor skills. So we had to put it to retirement. The new logo should now be able to take us a little further. Our own in-house designer, Enrico, led the mission in collaboration with Boris Forconi, from the agency StéréoSuper, who had already helped our friends at Drivy.

Before/After

Before/After

Although this is a very exciting and new step, we do remember our old logo fondly. For us it’s like selling our first car. It did its job for a long time and gave us a great ride, but we needed an upgrade.

The old logo was the product of two hours spent in Adobe Illustrator by Jean-Daniel, CEO, in 2009. It was a rudimentary logo, spontaneous and not exactly shiny. It was purely created for the sake of efficiency and love of minimalism.

ancien-logo-capitainetrain

The logo designed by Jean-Daniel in 2009

It’s important that we communicate that this is an evolution of our old logo, not a revolution. We’ve tried to maintain a connection with the old logo so that it remains in the same frame of reference, in the same evocations, while displaying a fresh face.

logo-captain-train

The logo designed by Enrico & StéréoSuper in 2015.

logo-captain-train-negative

Black on white version.

logo-captain-train-positive

White on black version.

captain_train_colours

The entire family.

Overall, we want to offer a more polished appearance to our identity because we want to present it in its best light. The new logo better reflects our new ambitions. But the new logo will be useless if we do not live up to our goals. We are not fooled. A logo does not change a company like magic.

By taking this step and clearly affirming our European ambitions with our new logo, we remember something very important. We need to work hard to have our customers associate positively with our new logo. And more importantly, positively associating with what the logo represents. It will forever be an incomplete mission as there’s always more to be done. Though for now, it symbolises our promise of being the best train ticket booking service in Europe.

If you are not yet a customer, why not take a quick tour of our site (and … logo!). We would love to welcome you on board. If you already are a customer, thank you for your confidence. The goals and ambitions of Captain Train can only exist thanks to your use (and feedback!!).


One comment

Hello CaptainTrain,

First of, the new English name is a smart move, as I saw many of my friends wondering why it was spelled this way. Nice job!

However, as I said on Google Play, I think the new logo is perhaps more “pro”, but it has some caveats:

On one hand, “Captain train” being stacked is good and refreshing (and in line with the new name). Full marks 🙂

On the other hand, the new logo on the left is not so smart IMHO: it used to represent a train, but now it seems to be rails. Some of my friends and I find it less explicit and attractive. Furthermore, on smartphones it is all black, and it looks like a double crossed-pound “#”, which is weird. Rails aren’t that squary: they are more stretched…

All in all, it’s a great change, but the visual identity of trains is gone: it seems like it’s more about rails, once you figure it out.

Have you done a survey about the new logo? It’s just sad to loose the train part of the logo :/

by Jiehong, posted 19 September 2015 on 10:18. Reply #

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