Atlanta’s Department of Planning and Community Development has a lot to say to a lot of people, but the messages aren't always clear. With big dreams to build a closely aligned department and drive responsible growth in our city, Commissioner Tim Keane sought our help. We worked with him and his core team to uncover why the department exists and what they hope to accomplish. The result was a focus on designing “Atlanta at its finest.” The challenge was to design a system within the long-standing city brand, including a seal that's been around since the 19th century.
In response, we created a clear hierarchy using practical typography, focusing more on utility than ornamentation. We were also charged with humanizing the language they use, to better inform the public and provide clear direction. We updated the brand architecture using emotional color theory to differentiate the different offices and helped implement new way-finding standards, including signage that would clearly direct people through the permitting and approval process.
To better engage the citizens of Atlanta, we also helped the department redesign their Public Notice signs. We were tasked with improving the legibility of these outdated notices by providing a more intuitive way to communicate with the community. Our solution was to design a clear visual system, one that is unexpectedly engaging and flexible for future expansion. We also created a legible, consistent visual hierarchy that distinctly identifies the notices by assigning each one a single letter. The colors were refined to reflect what our flourishing city represents, boldly framing each sign, no matter its backdrop.