Design and Build Mistakes to avoid

  1. Plan
  2. Design and Build
  3. Sell
  4. Evaluate

Mistake: you opted for a unique route-identity and local brand for your cycle highway.

C-standardisation leads to different ecnomies of scale.

You have given your cycle highway a unique name with a local brand and look and feel. After some years you realize that this cycle highway is part of a much broader network of (future) cycle highways in your region, country or even continent.

More and more regions in Europe are investing in cycle highways as a new kind of mobility product in the mobility market (motorways, railways, metro lines, buses...) How will you position cycle highways in this market? Will you continue to invest in other unique route-identities, logos and specific promotion for each route? Or will you rebrand your cycle highway by opting for a more future-proof network-identity?

Opting for a network-brand has a lot of advantages. Each communication around a specific route will at the same time strengthen the general awareness of the broader network and the understanding of the concept cycle highway. And this works also in the other way. 

The network strategy also facilitates the integration of your local cycle highway products in different touch points like maps and digital tools for route planning (f.i. Google Maps), signalization and wayfinding strategies, #hashtags in social media, word-of-mouth communication etc. If you want to establish more exposure and harvest the strong economies of scale, you need to avoid the mistake of thinking too local. If you already have a local name, it is recommended to combine it with an ambitious network brand. By using the recommended c-number coding strategy, you opt for a future proof network-identity on the highest European scale. Different examples of network-branding can be found in the readability toolbox. Browse the readability toolbox to find more about CHIPS recommended identity-principles.

Mistake: a network-identity and brand colour strategy that is not future proof enough.

How future proof is your branding strategy? The logic behind the F-codes in the 5 Flemish provinces. But what about Brussels and the Frensh speaking parts of...

One of the strong points of the design project of the German cycle highway RS1 is that the designers have created a network-identity on a larger scale. With its letter-number code, the new RS1-brand refers to a broader future network of cycle highways in the region. While the central brand colour of the RS1 is blue, the plan is to opt for other brand colours for the other cycle highways. But are there enough contrasting colours to differentiate the future cycle highway network?  

The five Flemish provinces in Belgium have opted for F-numbers and go beyond the regional scale. The collaboration resulted in a network-branding on state level (Flanders). Together with the F-numbers in the Netherlands, Flanders and the Netherlands will achieve a remarkable international scale. But what about the F-cycle highways to Brussels? And what will be the branding-strategy when the French speaking parts of Belgium invest in cycle highways? The best solution is that Brussels uses the same blue code-logo strategy with the more universal letter C instead of F. 

CHIPS recommends new starting regions to opt for a more European scale of branding. This can be achieved by implementing C-numbers. The C not only refers to the English word “cycling” and “cycle highway”, but also to the ancient Greek word 'cyclos' or 'Kyklos' (ancient Greek κύκλος). The C can therefore work in different languages like Dutch, Danish, French or Italian (e.g. cyclostrade, cyclostrada). With its ancient roots in Greek and Latin, the C is more universal that the Dutch "F" or the Germen "RS" (Radschnellweg). Browse CHIPS' readability toolbox to learn more on this topic.

Mistake: there is no consequent colour strategy

In the  first generation cycle superhighways in London, the design opted for a consequent blue colour on the asphalt. Confusion might rise with the pink of the central brand colour of the cycle superhighways. This confusion can be avoided by opting for a more consequent strategy:

  • opting for blue instead of pink as the central brand colour
  • or alternatively: opting for more pink elements in the cycling infrastructure (e.g. the orange colour of the cycle highway brand in the region of Copenhagen is used on different infrastructure elements like resting points,...).

On the F261 a green line is used to improve the infrastructural readability. The central brand colour for cycle highways is however red. Will this green line be used on the other cycle highways of the network? A more consequent colour strategy (e.g. consequent green or red) can improve the brand awareness and avoids that users need to learn the assosiation between the two colours.  

Browse trial and errors in the readability toolbox

The readability toolbox provides not only recommended strategies and best practices. You can also learn from mistakes if you  opt for the filter "Trial & Error". 

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