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Brand refresh ushers Cap Metro into coming decade

Thursday, June 17, 2021 by Seth Smalley

At the May 24 meeting of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors, Brian Carter, whose title is chief experience and engagement officer, presented the transit agency’s brand refresh proposal to board members.

“Over the last couple of years, several years, we’ve been noticing that there’s a need for us to take another look at what the words we use are, the colors we use, our logos, our style guide, all those things to see, does the brand we have today reflect who we are today, and where we’re going tomorrow?” Carter said.

The presentation covered a range of topics, from current Capital Metro brand characteristics to the expected timeline for the new branding’s rollout.

“Our brand is more than our logo,” Carter explained. “It’s our entire identity. Your brand is your reputation; it’s what other people think of when they think of you, when they think of Cap Metro.”

He went on to explain that just as the population and cultural landscape of Austin is rapidly changing, so should the way Capital Metro presents itself.

“We believe that our brand should be modern and dynamic,” he said. “It should be something that continues to reflect our community and reflect our agency as well. And we believe that the region has changed since we’ve last done any branding work … we’ve turned into much larger of a region than when we had started.”

The timing for a brand refresh, Carter explained, is optimal, given the introduction of Project Connect, the new transit system in Austin.

A brand refresh, Carter noted, was not to be confused with a rebranding; the difference is simply a matter of the scale of the change. While a brand refresh includes minor changes to the logo and other visual identifiers, “a rebranding would be if we were to completely get rid of all of the brand equities that we have and start over from scratch.”

“We believe that Austin is in a pivotal moment to really become a true metropolis and we think that this is a good time for us to consider, given the regional growth that we have. We also have the momentum going into the next decade from Project Connect, and we are going to have quite a few assets that we’ll be acquiring very soon. All of those assets will keep our brand on them, so before we procure those, it’s a good time for us to decide on the brand that we’re going to put out there,” he said.

Changes to uniforms, stops and stations, signs and Capital Metro vehicles are some examples of the expected changes to Capital Metro over the next several years that will be reflected in the branding.

“Those uniforms will carry the brand – not only in color, but also in logo and style,” Carter said.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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