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"Rubbish" new British Rail logo has the original designer fuming

British rail logos
Old (right) vs new (left) (Image credit: British Rail/Future owns)

It's hardly the most exciting logo in the world, but the British Rail design is certainly recognisable. Featuring two horizontal lines and a left and right arrow, the all-red icon is pleasingly simple – or at least it was until this morning.

The organisation has revealed a new logo, designed to promote the environmental benefits of rail travel, featuring not one, not two, but five shades of green. Far from being one of the best logos of all time, the green goblin is turning heads for all the wrong reasons – and even the designer of the original logo isn't happy.

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Talking to the Guardian (opens in new tab), Gerry Barney, who designed the original logo in 1964, called the new green update "a load of old bollocks". "I could understand it if they had just swapped red for green," he said. "But why on earth have they got that many colours? It's a mess."

And it seems Twitter agrees. "Too many greens spoil the broth," one user comments, while another adds, "They’ve managed to take a simple graphic representation of train travel and remove all meaning." Indeed, we doubt many designers are feeling green with envy over the new logo.

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As many have pointed out (including Barney), the issue here isn't so much the fact that the logo has been turned green, but that the designers apparently couldn't decided which green to go for – and so opted for what looks like fifty shades. Plenty of users have already demonstrated that the logo would be a much classier affair if stuck to a single hue.

British rail logo

(Image credit: thinkamigo on Twitter)

Like Amazon's disastrous new app icon and Kia's illegible new design, it's fair to say British Rail's new logo isn't a hit. If you fancy creating a design that definitely isn't a load of old you-know-what, check out our guide to logo design.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).