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New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
 

before

after

Noted Sep. 17, 2018 by Armin

Industry / Transportation Tags /

About

(Est. 1922) “The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT, pronounced “D-Dot”) is the public transportation operator of city bus service in Detroit, Michigan. In existence since 1922, it has headquarters in the Midtown section of Detroit and is a municipal department of the city government. DDOT partners with the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART)” (Wikipedia)

Design by

Design firm: Graham Clifford Design (New York, NY)
Ad agency: Lafayette American (Detroit, MI)

Related links

Graham Clifford Design project page

Relevant quote
As part of the resurgent Motor City infrastructure, a world-class 24/7 transit experience is being developed, complete with greater frequency and free wifi. Accordingly, we went through the gears to create a symbol based on a custom drawn double D conveying positive motion, a connective loop and better all-round service to the community – with an added dot as a tip of the driver’s cap to the original 1974 mark.

Graham Clifford Design project page

Images (opinion after)
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
Logo, positive and negative color variations.
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
Numerals.
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
Cap.
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
Livery.
New Logo and Identity for Detroit Department of Transportation by Graham Clifford Design and Lafayette American
Livery.
Opinion

The old logo was… old and rusty without the charm of something old and rusty like San Francisco’s MUNI logo. The “dt” part of the logo was sometimes used on its own, making it slightly more digestible but it still wasn’t a good logo. It was hard to tell if the “dt” was for “Department of Transportation” or “Detroit Transportation” or if you were meant to read it as “dot” with the circle acting as an “O”. The new logo is undeniably more contemporary, useful, and memorable. It still pushes the readability of the name though… I believe the new monogram is meant to be read as “D-DOT”, the way people in Detroit reportedly refer to it, so it may be a slightly hard rebus to decode and there is also the question of whether the monogram is two “D”s or not but despite any of this, it’s a pretty nice mark and the dot certainly ties back to the old logo. If you look through “Detroit Buses” on Google Images you can get a sense of the old livery, which wasn’t very exciting. The new mint color looks fresh — I know, I know, I’ve watched too many toothpaste ads — and gives the buses a bright color to spot them easily as they approach… or as you watch them speed away from you as you are trying to catch ’em.

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Logo Before & After
Sample Application

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