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The gorgeous new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency logo was recently introduced. The logo was surprisingly done in a contest format, but with a limit of contestants. Paul Miller’s design was selected over 45 others and was organized by ImproveSF, Mayor Ed Lee’s program that lets creative individuals help the Government. You usually think of college students when you think of someone entering a design contest, but Miller is no stranger as he is the Creative Director of Method Design in San Francisco.

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The new mark is a four color scheme design including curved parallel lines that was reported to help rebrand the organization as it moves into its next century. The new tag line to complement the logo is “Moving Forward Together.” It quickly translates visually to a symmetrical Train-like map.

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Here’s a look at his first entry:

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“There’s no in-your-face imagery that says this logo represents a transportation agency. It’s more subtle than that”, explained Miller.

“This identity leverages the concept of paths,” Miller said. “Whether they are via foot, bike, car, or train, these paths are connected or woven. The presented mark represents a part or crop of a larger pattern, which can be connected for various multi-use applications. The connection of these pattern tiles represents growth and community.”

The tag line, Moving Forward Together, he explained, “exemplifies these ideas while positioning SFMTA’s continuing future growth and progress.”

- Press Release

The new identity will be applied to the new website, print marketing material, trains, buses, subway stations, and signs everywhere.

The new logo will be seen on the agency’s website, printed materials, buses, trains, signs and subway stations. The MTA — loved and hated by the public — oversees Muni, bike and pedestrian programs, taxis, parking and traffic control operations in the city.

“As we move into Muni’s second century of operation, it’s time for a new look, one that reflects today’s SFMTA and our role in managing mobility in the 21st century,” said San Francisco Transportation Director Ed Reiskin. “We were excited that so many San Franciscans wanted to get involved and make a lasting contribution to this great city and this historic agency.”

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In an interesting related story John Roa, “Head Wizard” of Akta pointed out on their blog the striking similarities to the new logo his company had just created.

“For 30 months now, I have been in love with our logo. It has the perfect blend of abstract design with a bold image. It even looks good on metal in our lobby.

Apparently, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) was holding a contest for designers to take a stab at their new logo. This is pretty major, as this represents the entire public transit system of San Francisco and would probably be plastered on anything with a surface. Recently, the winner of the prestigious contest was chosen: Paul Miller from the great design firm Method (we are big fans of theirs!).”

It’s amazing to see the leader of an established corporation so calm about this in my opinion. I believe many people would lawyer up and try to cash in at this moment. His humble approach to the situation is awe-inspiring. He also calls out Paul Miller and asks him to collaborate on the article. Later, defending himself in the comment section John went on to reveal that he is in fact now working with Miller.

“I was quite serious in my reply when I stated that we don’t believe there was any malice, so no, I truly do not believe he saw it before hand and there isn’t any argument. That said, Paul did call, and we are working together on next steps.”

We don’t believe there is any malice either. Looks like a strange coincidence from here. It is worth pointing out that while there are many similarities there are so many differences. Either way, it will be exciting to see San Francisco covered in the fresh new identity!