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sound transit

A CONCEPTUALIZED REBRANDING 

TIME FRAME— 
8 weeks

MY ROLE— 
Art Direction
User Research
UI Design
Print Design

COLLABORATORS— 
Gabrielle Goldman (Designer)

TOOLS— 
Illustrator
Photoshop
Indesign

HISTORY
Sound Transit is still in its infancy compared to most mass transit agencies.  Funding was approved in 1990, but Sound Transit's transportation system went through a rough patch and didn't really have a great start until 2003 when they built the first light rail in Tacoma. Now, Sound Transit plans, builds, and operates three different types of transportation — express buses, light rails, and the commuter train in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

CHALLENGE
With a rocky start, plus, having public transportation not be the most exciting part of someone's day, to say the least, Sound Transit needs an uplift. This project works on giving Sound Transit a brand refresh.

GOAL
This rebrand of Sound Transit aims to be the silver lining to Seattle's rain and hopes to create a pleasant and positive experience for its wide demographic serving the Greater Seattle area.

The silver lining to Seattle's rain

The silver lining to Seattle's rain

LOGOS

The first stop in visual language is the logo. The logomark and wordmark work together to convey the flow of easy movement and the mechanical functionality of Sound Transit's fleet of vehicles. To really capture movement and ease of flow, I designed using smooth curves and flow lines. Designed for high visibility, the stacked logo is dynamically arranged to represent Sound Transit as a whole or in conjunction with a specific line of transportation. It's aligned to give the impression of forward motion. The midnight navy color works to ground and stabilize the feel of the logo while the vibrant color system distinguishes the three lines of transportation. 

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COLORS

COLORS

Seattleites know how dark and gloomy the city can become during the year; That's why the color palette is so vibrant. The colors are meant to be visible in all conditions, rain or shine, and act as a cheerful pop in Seattle's landscape — the rainbow after the storm. Specifically, midnight navy acts as the grounding color because blue is a strong color and invokes a sense of calm, which creates a sense of trust that Sound Transit will be able to take its riders to and from where they need to be. The colors clear sky, sunshine pop, and fuschia bloom were carefully selected for each type of transportation based on the vehicles' environment. Clear sky was chosen for the express buses because 1) out of the busses, shuttles, and street cars that run in Seattle, electric blue would make Sound Transit busses stand out and 2) the color stands out in the grays of the city. Sunshine pop was chosen for the communter train, the Sounder, because it runs the longest track with backgrounds of trees and gravel so a bright yellow would stand out in those environments. Fuschia bloom was chosen for the Link because hot pink complements the lightrail's fast motion and makes a bold color statement that you can't miss. The green, clover field, is an accent color used to tie in the hues of the PNW.

From left to right: midnight navy, clear sky, sunshine pop, fuschia bloom, clover field

Seattleites know how dark and gloomy the city can become during the year; That's why the color palette is so vibrant. The colors are meant to be visible in all conditions, rain or shine, and act as a cheerful pop in Seattle's landscape — the rainbow after the storm. Specifically, midnight navy acts as the grounding color because blue is a strong color and invokes a sense of calm, which creates a sense of trust that Sound Transit will be able to take its riders to and from where they need to be. The colors clear sky, sunshine pop, and fuschia bloom were carefully selected for each type of transportation based on the vehicles' environment. Clear sky was chosen for the express buses because 1) out of the busses, shuttles, and street cars that run in Seattle, electric blue would make Sound Transit busses stand out and 2) the color stands out in the grays of the city. Sunshine pop was chosen for the communter train, the Sounder, because it runs the longest track with backgrounds of trees and gravel so a bright yellow would stand out in those environments. Fuschia bloom was chosen for the Link because hot pink complements the lightrail's fast motion and makes a bold color statement that you can't miss. The green, clover field, is an accent color used to tie in the hues of the PNW.

From left to right: midnight navy, clear sky, sunshine pop, fuschia bloom, clover field

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TYPE

The typefaces are a reflection of Sound Transit's service. Messages are meant to be fun, friendly but also highly functional. Plau is the perfect blend of technical and friendly with a pop of personality. It functions as a bold, eye-catching headline with its dynamic letter forms. News cycle pairs nicely with Plau with its similar features. Designed for readability and clarity, News Cycle is great for large bodies of text. 

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ICONOGRAPHY

ICONOGRAPHY

I helped art direct this set of icons which are designed to be understood at quick glance and use bold heavy shapes that can be seen from a distance. Icons include important matters related to Seattle commuters — dogs, bikes, accessibility.  

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Operating in color


Operating in color


VOICE

The voice of Sound Transit is a welcoming one. Using cheerful colors and thoughtful copywriting, Sound Transit always projects a friendly message that says, "Come on in!" I designed marketing materials to have an element of movement, when possible, to create sparks of delight. The outward facing messages is about raising awareness of the communal, environmental and emotional benefits of riding with Sound Transit. Use of flowing lines that intersect and play with color opacities is meant to give a feeling that Sound Transit cares more than just taking its riders from point A to point B, but integrating with the diverse city and connecting with its riders to create a sound community. 

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ENVIRONMENT

The brand is easily applicable to work on both screen and print. Intefaces are kept simple or "toned down" by using one primary color or using the color opacities to quiet the colors so that decorative elements don't interfere with the information on screen.  Information is laid out clearly, taking advantage of white space to make important information stand out. 

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