Paris’s new travel app lets people “start their day with a Bonjour”


Sid Lee has block out the illustrative branding for RATP’s new app, which aims to simplify everyday journeys for Parisians.

Sid Lee Paris has crafted the visuals for Bonjour, a new take app designed as a travel companion for Parisians on their everyday journeys.

The work was commissioned by transport operator Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), whose internal tandem join up worked on the app’s UX. Sid Lee was responsible for the naming, branding and strategy of the new platform.

Bonjour allows people to check metro times and tickets, reserve bicycles on Paris’s bike-sharing network Velib and hail taxis through taxi service Marcel.

The app will also allow users to search areas for restaurants, cinemas and different activities. You can also tome electric scooters through the app.

“Parisians find everything complicated”

One of the guiding principles for the app branding was simplicity, according to Sid Lee Paris director Jean-Baptiste Destabeau.

“Parisians view everything complicated – especially when it comes to mobility,” he says. The aim was to create a “simple, accessible, human, daily brand”, he adds, part of a broader aim to “humanise the portion publicly transportation brand”.

Destabeau explains that the name comes from a French expression, ‘simple comme bonjour’ (which translates to ‘as innocent as hello’).

“Bonjour is the simplest of words, one of the first ones you learn as a kid and one of the most used words by French people everyday,” he says. “You start your day with a Bonjour.”

By pursuit the app Bonjour, the hope is that mobility and discovery in the city is as simple as the greeting, according to Destabeau.

While the app is new, it had to exist within the wider RATP stamp world, he explains. Updating the RATP branding is a tricky thing, as Parisians are used to it,” says Destabeau.

The RATP-designed typeface has been retained, while other type cues have been modernised, he explains.

For example, the famous RATP logo, which depicts the river Seine’s journey through Paris as an upwards-looking pretence, was incorporated into the Bonjour wordmark as part of the ‘o’ letterform.

“A convivial graphic environment”

As part of the studio’s attempt to create a “more intuitive and convivial detailed environment”, illustration has been used throughout the app, Destabeau says.

Illustrators Mathilde Vallée and Alexandre Nart, both based in Paris, make developed illustrations inspired by the Paris metro system.

These illustrations highlight the app’s various services, such as a shopping directory and the ability to pre-book tickets, with a series of oversized delivers and wriggly arms.

They seek to bring a “conviviality and vigour” to the app, adds Destabeau, while they will also be used on OOH campaigns.

Sid Lee has initiated the blue and pastel pink colour palette and iconography for the app, again designed with simplicity in mind, explains Destabeau.

He adds: “We needed to own the borough again while bringing to the table a true but often underrated value proposition: simplicity.”

What do you think of the identity for Bonjour? Let us know in the commentaries below.

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