A TEAM of five former JJ Institute of Applied Arts students have suggested the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) that its buses could lure more commuters if they change their colour from the current ‘pitch dark red’.
A detailed study to rebrand the buses by the team, comprising Gayatri Sohani, Kanchan Gokhale, Pallavi Shedge Rajat Bhele and Samruddhi Varade, led to obtaining a new colour combination for the exterior of buses. Delicate stripes of yellow combined with a complete white-washed bus could make commuters consider them friendlier, safer and more efficient in service, the team believes. “For any utility or service, the way your product is designed and presented to the consumers sets its character in their minds,” said Santosh Kshirsagar, professor at J J Institute of Applied Arts and project-head.
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BEST approached the institute to suggest ways on giving a makeover to the buses . “We found out that neither did the undertaking possess any fixed specifications of logo nor a shade of colour for its buses as it changed with each depot painting it differently. By giving a fixed logo and specific colour specifications, our aim remained to give it a fixed identity,” said Pallavi.
A phase-wise study helped them come upon a different logo which could be simple yet convey what the undertaking’s purpose is. “We wanted the new logo to symbolise for the masses the ideas of flow, speed, safety, public service, network and connection — conveying the two main utilities of BEST — electricity and supply,” she added.
“The red colour of the BEST was given to us by the English, … but it never served its purpose and proved to be a deterrent during traffic hours and cause of accidents … White and yellow were thought to be more neutral, acceptable and clean shades for buses with the logo in red on it,” said Kanchan.
“Semiotics proves that people do share intangible connections with colour. If the colour is implemented, we would also like buses to remain ad-free at least for the first few years so that the new look could connect with commuters,” added Kshirsagar.
A proposal to colour an air-conditioned and an ordinary bus with the colours on a trial basis to gauge audience reaction is on the cards. “Our main aim is to attract the youth. We have written the transport commissioner to colour two buses on a pilot basis … if approved, it could then be used to understand commuters’ reactions,” said Jagdish Patil, General Manager, BEST.