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Lots of good comments. I used to/still do mostly agree with David Alpert that a branding scheme isn't necessary. HOWEVER, there is no question that one color, easily distinguishable, makes it very easy for people to figure out what are cabs.

I agree that red, despite the links to Circulator and cabi, probably isn't a good color as it's nonobvious and people have learned elsewhere that solid yellow/off yellow, orange tend to be the colors that cabs typically use. It will take longer than the period that people are visiting in DC for them to figure out that "red" is the distinguishing color for common carrier transit that is from "DC" as opposed to colors used by other services in the region.

There was a letter somewhere by a taxi driver for Yellow Cab or something stating that the black and orange design they use is very distinctive and communicates cab. I agree. However, the issue is that for most people (excepting Arlington Red Top) don't see any distinguishment between the various cab companies in that mostly, they all suck. While there are particularly good cabbies, there is no way to distinguish them from the companies they work for...

So this rises to the level of a decision made for overall mobility planning purposes. (Although yes, as ontarioroader pointed out, and I have written as well, this is hardly the uppermost priority for taxi service planning and what we really need is a deep and rigorous plan for taxi service, probably too include eliminating the taxi commission as a separate body and incorporating it into DDOT.)

It's not just the color, also the logo. The sticker used to signify "certified cab" for DC in use currently isn't particularly obvious and is especially placed in a non obvious location (behind the back passenger side door window) whereas the "T" logo on the taxis in NYC is placed prominently on the front passenger side door (probably on the driver side door too, I didn't really pay attention).

As Karina Ricks, then planning director of DDOT, is alleged to have said to the crew dealing with Cabi ... when given design choices, "I hate them all, just pick one."

But yes, subtle is too subtle, although I like the Chinese example posted by Andrew is very nice.

by Richard Layman on Dec 10, 2012 3:11 pm • linkreport

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