A railroad logo might be the first thing I’ve designed that might finally outlive me, on top of being one of the cooler opportunities I’ve had.
Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road Company is a shortline railroad that also doubles as a holding company operating a total of five short-line railroads in southeastern Michigan.
It was important to separate the new ADBF from The Old Road. They do still run that line, but that’s only one of many. There needed to be something a bit more “authoritative.”
I’ll admit, I was lucky enough to fall ass-backwards into this opportunity.
I worked with Rachel, who was a close friend of the fiancée of my close friend — and out of sheer coincidence, introduced me to the most incredible world of trains that I never knew about. I have not yet graduated to the self-proclaimed level of “foamer”, but, who knows what the future will hold! Locomotives, and the world around them, really made me excited to work on every part of this rebranding project. Seriously, this will be a tough one to top.
We (Rachel and I) ran the owner Chris through some moodboards; which moved on to concepts; and gradually, we did end up starting down an industrial design inspiration—and I can’t say how happy I am that they were ready to jump in feet first into a wildly different brand than before!
Designers reading this page will know exactly what typeface they’re looking at, I’d be willing to bet. Brothers is an amazing display type family from Emigre, and had the perfect level of “strength” I needed the wordmark to project.
ADBF’s railroad line is one of the oldest operating in the United States, having been originally built in 1834
Railfan & Railroad Magazine
The new paint job also earned this beauty a spot in a magazine article!
The first time the fresh locomotive sees the light of day (with its new paint job)! Admittedly, the sheer size of the train didn’t come through until I saw this video.
There’s just so many beautiful shots of 821 in the wild! I see a few new ones almost weekly from the Adrian & Blissfield / Jackson & Lansing Railroad Facebook group. If you’re a railfan/foamer, you should check out that group!
A lot of the more professional shots are taken by Peter Mayor. Follow him for more!
Brand New: Under Consideration
To my sheer amazement—you can also find this logo on Brand New, the design blog powered by UnderConsideration LLC. More or less, this is an absolute dream!