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Atlanta’s new transit logo: $590,000 worth of ‘optimism, momentum, guidance’

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported, a new agency will oversee transit planning and funding in the metro area is up and running. In the long run, the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (“the ATL” for short) hopes to create a seamless transit system from the alphabet soup of agencies that provide service across 13 counties. 

One of its first chores is to develop a new logo for trains and buses across the region. Though it’s still under development, the ATL offered a peek at early concepts at its first meeting earlier this month. The result is picture below, with variations on that theme in the photo above. 


The new ATL transit logo.

The ATL will pay Jackson-Spalding $590,000 over a year to develop the logo and for branding and related work. A representative of the company explained the logo in a presentation to board members: 

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*The shapes that form the “star” in the logo are a series of “A’s” – or arrows – that spiral around a central axis, “symbolizing the freedom of movement provided to the region.” 

*The arrows point toward and away from the center, “creating pulse-like movement.” 

*The shape is reminiscent of a star, “and stars have provided guidance to travelers for thousands of years.” 

*The design is “also reflective of a compass, providing clarity and guidance to public transit users.” 

*As for the “ATL” letters, “the distinctive A without crossbar points upward and symbolizes optimism and forward momentum.” 

Under the legislation the created the ATL, the logo must be used on new MARTA buses and trains beginning in January. All vehicles must have the brand by 2023. The new logo won’t necessarily replace existing MARTA branding – it may be an additional logo. 

The ATL Board is running the logo by local transit agencies and other organizations before finalizing it in coming months.

You can learn more about the ATL Board and its mission here.

About the Author

David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois, Virginia and Tennessee.

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