14 January 2009

Yamhill County Transportation Area: A Logo Expressing Service

1913.Yamhill County (a place whose name has nothing to do with either yams or hills) is a charming place; small towns, wide agricultural spaces, the legendary bottleneck/speed trap at Dundee, and capital of the State of Pinot Noir.

But it's growing up. Population estimates put the number of inhabitants near 100,000; the county seat, McMinnville, has recently notched a population of 30,000.

Yamhill County, though, no matter where you go in it (it fairly sprawls for a small county; from the Grande Ronde area of the Coast Range to the right bank of the Willamette) seems one community. So it stands to reason that the most effective way to serve it in many ways is on the country level, and it's that level from which the transit system has sprung.

You might be surprised to learn that Yamhill County has fixed-route regular daily city bus service. Actually, it's had it for a while, courtesy of Yamhill Community Action Partnership and senior service organizations, first as Dial-a-Ride service, then as minimal fixed-route service (anyone with knowledge is welcome to correct me on this; I'm working on recollection here). But latterly it's expanded to three regular routes in McMinnville proper, with link routes connecting the outlying communities to not only McMinnville but also to TriMet and Salem's Cherriots. The city service in McMinnville is Monday-Friday on the half-hour from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm, which is no mean feat for a small town like "Mac". Newberg is served by what is called the "Town Flyer" route which connects to the 99W Link route.

Anyway, this is about the graphic look, and with the growing up of the transit service In Yamhill County comes a more polished, accomplished graphical appearance. And they have it.

The logo of the Yamhill County Transportation Area (YCTA) is deft in execution and meaning. The letter Y is incorprated into a symbol that appears to be highways merging, in an ever-appropriate green, but the totality of the symbol expresses a hand supporting a tray, in the manner of a butler or waiter/waitress.

How may we be of service to you, Yamhill County? A very effective use of symbolism, a deft execution.

The understated-yet-effective look continues into signage and tickets/passes (as pictured)

Whoever created the look knew what they were doing, had a firm grasp of the message they were trying to communicate, and knew their audience: a rural county where everyone's your neighbor. They keep it friendly and approachable.

(graphics nicked from the YCTA website, which is a well-designed bit of work. I encourage a visit; you can find it here: http://yctransitarea.org).

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