NYC Ferry Branding / The City of New York NYC

Submitted By Eri Miyagi


For the City of New York and Mayor de Blasio, this is a design and branding project of the new transportation system, NYC Ferry.
The overall branding system was focused on creating something that feels familiar and accessible to all NYC - which is a melting pot of different types of people.
As a timeless system much like other NYC transportation systems, take the MTA for example - there is a need for this design system in its existence to achieve the absolute fundamental goals of graphic design - to visually communicate in the shortest amount of time, in a seamless and simple experience-centric way, while remaining fresh, friendly and a delight to interact with.
As NYC is one of the most visited cities in the world, it was important that the system could be easily understood by everyone and that it was created in cohesion with existing NYC transportation branding - thinking of it like designing new letters to an existing language and alphabet, but also creating a new subset language that could stand, hold and be considered by itself.
In addition to being one of the most visited cities in the world, NYC has always been a city of immigrants, and in the creation of this branding system that supports that through visual language- I’m thrilled to have been able to contribute as one.


The ask was to create a branding system for the new NYC ferry service. The service was proposed and announced by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2015. Now officially named "NYC Ferry," the service has launched May 1st 2017 with two routes: the brand new Rockaway Route and the existing East River Route, the service will continue to expand into six lines by 2018.
The clean and contemporary branding needs to communicate the transportation is a ferry/boat, and easily identified as an official public NYC transportation source (like MTA subway/bus, taxi) and not private (Uber, Lyft).

Technical Challenge

After thousands of iterations, it was not about creating something trendy, or cool, but more about creating a timeless system, invincible to change - but yet open to it, in its additions. This tension was heavily considered going into design, and hundreds of iterations we did to ensure that there was a sweet spot between being fundamentally simple, but obviously considered.

NYC Ferry Branding



The City of New York NYC


Inamoto & Co




Public Transportation



Eri Miyagi

Creative Director

Rei Inamoto




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