Havas Montréal creates branding for the R, Réseau express métropolitain (REM)

MONTREAL, February 8, 2018 — This Thursday was the launch of the new branding for Réseau express métropolitain, the new public transit network developed by CDPQ Infra, an affiliate of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). In addition to naming the consortium responsible for building this new light rail system, Michael Sabia, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ, also unveiled the name and visual identity for the project, developed by Havas Montréal.

The visual identity for the Réseau express métropolitain is the result of close collaborative work, and Havas’ strategic approach greatly contributed to that,” explains Jean-Vincent Lacroix, Director, Media Relations, CDPQ Infra. “We are proud of the result, of this strong symbol. And it had to be, because this is the largest transportation infrastructure project in Quebec since the building of the Metro. This symbol will shine in the Montreal landscape for a long time.

There were several challenges for Havas Montréal, in that they had to create a simple, yet easily recognizable brand that would stand out in the city. All the visuals are anchored by the R. “In the name, we replaced ‘electric’ with ‘express’,” comments Stéphane Mailhiot, Vice President, Strategy, Havas Montréal. “Since all new transport projects are electric, we wanted to focus on a more concrete and distinct advantage for the user.

This is a large-scale social project that has to naturally integrate with the transportation ecosystem of Greater Montreal,” adds Hélène Godin, Co-Founder of Factry, the school of creativity sciences, and a branding consultant on the project. “The big ‘R’, as in ‘ready’, as in Montrealers are ready for the future of public transportation.

The new identity was created by Virginie Malette, Art Director. “Design is at the heart of our agency’s growth strategy,” explains Jan-Nicolas Vanderveken, President and CEO of Havas Montréal. “This project and the launch of La Maison W in 2017 demonstrate our commitment to that goal. It is an honour for Havas Montréal to have contributed to the creation of a brand that people will be enjoying every day for decades to come.

View the video presentation of the project, as presented to the press, below.



  • Client: CDPQ infra
  • Agency: Havas Montréal
  • Strategy: Stéphane Mailhiot
  • Creative direction: Hélène Godin
  • Art direction: Virginie Malette, Serge Côté
  • Copywriting: Caroline Joassin-Bruneau, Frédéric Bruniquel
  • English adaptation: Adriana Palanca
  • Production: Martine Beaudoin
  • Client services: Stéphanie Lebon, Agnès Colas


  • Art direction: Nikolaos Lerakis, Jacqueline Zegray
  • Production: Marie-Michèle Plante
  • Motion design: Champagne Club Sandwich, Pierre-Nicolas Riou
  • Sound: Cult Nation
  • Client services: Sébastien Moïse, Laurent-Simon Lapierre


About Havas

The Havas Group operates in more than 100 countries. Havas Montréal comprises 80 communications specialists offering creative, design, strategy and production services, as well as media expertise to a wide range of local and international brands. Havas Montréal’s main clients include Couche-Tard, National Bank, Fromageries Bel, Air France-KLM, St-Hubert Retail and LasikMD.

For more information, please contact:

Stéphanie Lebon
Brand Manager