San Francisco’s transit system, the Municipal Railway – or Muni as it is locally known – has had the same logo since the 1970s. And while it is instantly recognizable and iconic for some, local artist and art director Derek Kim wanted to update it for the 21st century.
For his personal project, Kim took on all the branding for Muni – from the signage to the trams to the uniforms – streamlining the red logo and creating a new fast pass that introduced local artists’ work on the back. He also designed new uniforms and pictographs to make it easy to San Fran neighborhoods, as well as a new app.
The entire project was a way for Kim to exercise his creative muscle while also addressing his obsession. He says:
My fascination with the Muni logo started a long time ago. It’s an iconic piece of San Francisco’s heritage and probably the most recognized SF symbol after the SF Giants. Because of my obsessive compulsions, I’ve been itching to rework the main mark without compromising its longstanding aesthetic quality.
Kim admits that the rebrand is purely conceptual and is no way an indictment of the current design. He believes that the transit authority should not be spending money on a rebrand at the moment, but should focus on bettering the service. But if the SFMTA chooses to switch it up down the line, Kim has already done the hard work.
See the rebranded Muni design below:
Source: Fast Company
Images: Derek Kim