A more connected transit experience 55

Metlink Melbourne
A multi-site rebranding project that required an audit of every existing hub, location, intersection, cross-over and decision point to enable the most integrated wayfinding between transport modes.

Disaggregated public transport

In 1999 the public transport system in Melbourne was disaggregated and privatised. Branding, marketing and the provision of customer information were fragmented and disjointed. In 2003, the operators joined forces with the Victorian Government to create Metlink which provided a single identity for Melbourne’s public transport system.

The initiative intended to better integrate information about train, tram and bus transport services and as a result provide commuters with an improved, more connected service. Metlink developed a master style guide for customer information: everything from timetables to maps, all designed to complement the design style of signage. But it was the signage that needed serious thought. The implementation took place in 2003 and involved over 80,000 individual signs.

…you as a patron had to navigate yourself through seven different types of route maps, eight types of geographic maps, eight different timetable systems and different websites.

Steven Corwell | Corwell Design


The objective was clear: improve legibility and interconnectedness between the different modes of transport ­ trains / buses / trams.

The Department of Transport needed a solution that was durable and fit for purpose. Something anti-graffiti and legible. A site audit would be required to map how the different brands, services, programmes and destinations relate to each other.

Metro required a strategic analysis of the current wayfinding and proposed strategy for increased efficiencies. The solutions needed to consider location, signage hierarchies and legibility, along with materials research and prototyping.

28,000 bus stops; 4,000 tram stops; 350 train stations. 80,000 signs around Melbourne delivered on budget and on time.


Diadem was selected to carry out the site audit, assessment, documentation, signage prototyping, construction management, materials research and industrial design of this project.

The outcome included a panelled system. Rather than the expensive exercise of replacing an entire sign, the location information could remain, and only the logos need be replaced with rebranding.

Stay in touch

Register for Dialect, our e-news.