Un Tramway Nommé Design

A total covering on the brand new STAS Tram to celebrate the 10th Biennale Internationale de Design de Saint-Etienne
The new CAF Tram rolling on the streets of Saint-Étienne

Un Tramway Nommé Design was a contest, proposed by STAS and the Biennial of Design of Saint-Étienne, that asked art and design students, from all over France, to design a total covering for the new CAF tram that represented the 10th biennial theme: Working Promesses - les mutations du travail.

The new CAF Tram rolling on the streets of Saint-Étienne

Graphic Concept



Inspired by the Suprematist and Constructivist aesthetics, this huge covering uses geometric forms to draw an abstract and linear narrative about the mutations of work and society.

Symbolically, it represents the massive human effort to unravel the unknown, to tame the randomness, to transform the world and, finally, transform itself in an intermittent process of organizing the chaos into patterns, tools, circuits, ideas and life. 

While the right side of the tram (the promise and the future) is filled with asymmetric forms, randomly positioned in space, as they start to approach the left part (the present, the result), these shapes and lines begin to form bonds and patterns, constructing a clear and solid structure at the left end of the locomotive.

Ultimately, the biennial logotype, positioned in the clearest area of the covering, places design as a crucial tool in this process of creation and mutation, underlining the importance of the event.

Left side of the Tram: the present   |   Right side of the Tram: the future
Global view of the tram's total covering   |   Infographic cards

Visual Identity



The project respects the visual identity of the 10th Biennial proposed by Bureau 205. It integrates the event's brand and uses other elements of the visual identity, such as the square grid (2.5mm) proposed for the construction of the shapes and spaces. 

Regarding the colors, the use of black and white pays tribute to the identity of the city of Saint-Étienne. The black symbolizes the coal, a regional and essential material in the history and development of the city. It fills all the negative spaces, drawing all the other graphics forms of the covering in an allusion of the economic role of this element in shaping the city.


Graphic details of the total covering

Exploring the unknown



In the image above, at the right end of the covering, the famous work of El Lissitzky was revisited and gained a new meaning: the attack of the unknown by research, the only one capable of exploring the limits of human knowledge, constantly seeking innovation for a better future.

The covering collage at the STAS Station   |   This huge collage was implemented by SIP World

Being able to develop such a interesting theme and work on a rolling support so important for the city of Saint-Étienne, such as the tramway, was truly incredible.

The project that, at first, had been destinated to be used only through the Biennial event, was so appreciated by the city dwellers and the STAS employees, that they decided to keep the covering through all 2017, and by the end of the year, inspired by the Star Wars fever, the citizens of Santé had found a new nickname for the Tramway Design: Dark Tramor.