Master thesis

Helsinki Cycling Services I


Photo by Arsi Ikäheimonen.

“Branding cycling services in Helsinki – Identity development for a bike sharing system and the dotted line concept” – book is a Master thesis for Aalto University School of Design and Architecture, Graphic Design 2013. The development of a positive and recognizable cycling brand for Helsinki and the surrounding areas was stated as one of the goals in the Cycling Promotion Program 2013. This work was a proposal in response to this defined need. The book is published by Helsinki City Transport (HKL). Download it here. The work continued with Helsinki Region Transport Authority (HSL).


Bike-share station plan at the Three Smiths Statue in Helsinki.

The thesis contains a brand identity for a bike sharing system ‘Helsinkipyörä’ and an unified concept of cycling services, the ‘Dotted Line Concept’. The study examines how the creation of an overarching concept of cycling services and branding could aid the promotion of cycling in Helsinki.


Bike-share station plan at the end of Baana in Ruoholahti.


Bike-share station plan in Ruoholahti.


The work explores the topic through three more advanced cycling cities, Copenhagen, London and New York, and examines what could be learned from the branding solutions applied to cycling services in these example cities.


The identity of the Helsinki cycling services was analysed and its possibilities for further development were discussed.

The study presented a dotted line as a proposed unifying visual brand element. The first applications of the concept were modelled, and means to create a coherent brand for cycling services were explored. The work formulated the concept of cycling services and defined its application in Helsinki. The cycling services were combined into a service family. It underscored a holistic view of the branding and design decisions of different services.



The unifying visual brand examples. The dotted line bicycle and the pictograms of HKL and HSL are redesigned to an unifying shape. The dotted line used as a marking symbol for the Baana network and an example of bicycle parking.

JCDecaux won the bidding competition of producing a bike sharing system in Helsinki in January 2012. The launch was scheduled for summer 2013. Helsinki had a disagreement about advertising places with JCDecaux and the contract was terminated in October 2013. The new bike-share system took place in Helsinki 2016 and it’s identity was refined from this concept.


Some determinations for Identity of Helsinki Bike.


The last versions of the infopylones and the JCDecaux bicycle model 2013. Original pictures by JCDecaux, pictures image processed. And below there is design applied to other bicycle models during the design process.


Examples of products. Patterns were designed for Helsinki Bike communication and marketing.


The pictures on the right page by Ensaemble, pictures image processed.