At my current employer, Catalysis, we are given the opportunity each quarter to work on a personal project to help develop our skillset independent of our day-to-day work. During the second quarter 2014, I outlined a plan to re-envision the King County Metro bus brand.

King County Metro operates over 1,400 buses on 233 routes in and around Seattle, seeing an average daily ridership of over 400,000 people. It is the eighth largest public transit agency in the nation.

The high concept involves creating a brand that more accurately reflects the vision Seattle has for itself in shaping the future with technology and trends. This involves taking the current technological innovation and presenting it in a way that is friendly and engaging to help drive increased ridership and usage.

Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen wrote an excellent brief overview of why branding is important for these types of agencies and their impact on the future.

The current brand.

King County Metro King County Metro 4191 by pdxjeff / Jeff Muceus King County Metro 3193 by Atomic Taco

Photographs by Atomic Taco (@AtomicTaco).

The preceeding are examples of Metro's current brand currently in use. When polled, those I asked described it as "loud", "hot", "dated", and "cheap". My own personal feelings of the Metro bus system are overall positive and I've ridden many routes as both a commuter and tourist. I wanted to attempt and abstract this positive experience into something external.

The new brand.

King County Metro. We'll get you there.

Color choice was based on the current bus system livery. It was brightened to provide a more noticible color scheme and create an air of friendliness. The placement of yellow is of particular importance: It denotes where the vehicles doors are located allowing patrons to quickly glance at the vehicle to determine where they need to enter and exit.